Here’s to Sarah, a friend who has always been there for me
For the encouraging advice she gives
For the sweet jokes we always talk about

Here’s to GirlForward, my second home
For the smiles and hugs I get everyday
For the friendship and music

Here’s to last year’s Christmas
For the best food made by mom
For the gifts I received

Here’s to rice pudding, my favorite
For the good taste
For the closeness I feel with it every time

Here’s to Justin Bieber, the best
For trying these two years
For his good song, “Sorry”

Here’s to the library, a place where I have peace of mind
For its bookshelves that carry what I read
For the lessons I learn

Here’s to Rafael, the funniest
For the choice that made him a friend
For the smiles that are unconditional

Here’s to Sunday, a day of joy
For the happy faces I see in church
For the chance I get to ask everything I want from Him, “God”

Here’s to Kinshasa, a city that motivates me for the future
For its beautiful nature and wildlife
For its tourist attractions that bring in foreign exchange

Here’s to someone close to me
For making me cry and laugh
For their unbreaking love

Here’s to home, a place within me
For its happiness that lasted while it could
For the smiles that were made through food

Here’s to life experiences that have made me curious
and Sarah
For the love and hatred
For the sorrows and happiness

Here’s to my grandmama and my name
For she told stories around the fire
and my name that reminds me of fairytales

Here’s to my culture and my tribe
For the dresses that make us who we are
For the good food we eat

Here’s to Dad, Moses, Mary, and Mom, my family
For being there since day one
For our time together as a family

Here’s to Chicago, my new home
For the beautiful streets that make my selfies valuable
For the weather it offers

Here’s to me
For enduring my life experiences
And for still being me through everything.

From the 826CHI Student Publication: I Remember... Our Whole Life in a Secret Place

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