“She was like my oxygen.”
From Ja’Kila Tate Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy

Pain. Hurt. Suffering. My nana. I miss her so much. She was like my oxygen. She was my backbone, my spine. She was everything I needed. She died July 24th, 2005. I was born July 24th, 1997. It’s hard to even think about me losing her on a special day like that, my birthday. I haven’t really gotten over it but I’ve grown from the experience. I miss her so much and I know she’s looking down on me because I’m making her proud and she’s happy that I’m doing good. I love her so much and it was so hard. I couldn’t go to school. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t do anything. But, I’m growing. But that was hard.

Interview conducted in Washington, DC .


scu_gatewaystem150x175 “I was kind of getting scared…what if my potential is not as high as theirs?”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “…you never know how it feels getting back up if you never fall down.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “I never wanted this to happen.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “… a whole lot of people in St. Louis haven't been to the Arch.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “… after that I felt worthless, and like a coward.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “Some teenagers my age are not like me for one big and important reason…”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “…it’s not all ice cream and cake.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “They just have to accept me for who I am.”
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