Where I Come From Class of 2023

By Gina Ricci

I am from a pink floral blanket with a soft, worn out corner.

From pink dresses and dollhouses as tall as me.

I am from a house with a very tall ceiling.

And a big backyard with a pool and trampoline.

I am from the park that resides down a few blocks, across the church.

Whose swings threw me high into the sky, like I’m flying.

I am from my brother’s Nintendo 64 and a playset with a sand pit.

From Ricci and Pizza.

And from the tears that fell from my eyes everyday, like a broken faucet.

From the Ricci wheeze laugh that was contagious. 

I am from being taught that no matter who you are, you are loved.

From various soups and Italian food.

From a dad with 12 siblings.

And from a mom with only 2.

And losing my blanket at Blueberry hill for my dad to dig it out the trash.

I am Gina Marie Ricci.

I am myself in every way I want to be.


By Kayla Fleming

I come from a family with different types of hair.

Starting from type 1 and ending with type 4.

Some are kinky, some are silky.

Others have no hair.

Feeling the knot from detangling your hair.

The warm vanilla and lavender smell of the products.

Some take a long time to put up their hair.

Others it’s a breeze.

Some might not like their hair.

Others adore their hair.

I come from a family that embraces their hair no matter what form or color.

By Robert Spearman

I come from a place where the drug dealers are the neighborhood heroes.

Where the “gangsters” bring old ladies flowers, money for the teens,  and candy for the kids.

Where rocks on windows and sneakers on phone lines are commonplace.

I come from no money, let alone old money

I come from hustle & heart

I come from figuring out how to fend for myself

I come from a family of immigrants– from every corner of the globe.

I come from link cards and food stamps

I come from unofficial candy houses

I’m from candy houses being closed by the feds

I’m from someone else on the block picking up the mantle

I’m from staying out past the street lights and getting in trouble when I get home.

I come from loneliness and depression.

I come from pain and struggle.

Most importantly, though?

I come from making sure no one around me has to feel how I feel.


By Moises Contreras

I come from a religious and cultural family

Church then Menudo, always oozing so clammily

And now it’s practice time for kid #4

Old staples and creaking on the wooden floor


I come from strict mexican parents

Where some would call them karens

From poor and white

Still from the heights

Was then, and still now a has-been


I come from other mother figures

My sister, so often with her

Now I can read

Learned self-love and greed

No other could ever replace her


Now I come from a loving and endearing background

The house is loud, always a damn playground

But calm in a way that I soon found peace 

Where Writing has become my new caprice

“Where I come From”, may just be a masterpiece


By A.J. Stansbury

Whea I’m from you have to keep your head on a swivel

Always check your surroundings 

Whea I’m from you had to be home before the streetlights came on

Or your OG giving you the belt

Whea I’m from there were block parties every summer

With lil kids getting snow cones

And eating hot flamins with cheese and meat

Whea I’m from super donuts is a go to snack

Whea I’m from ginger ale fixes every sickness

Whea I’m from waking up to Keyshia Cole music on Saturday mornings

Meant you was going to be cleaning all day

Whea I’m from a 6 piece mild with lemon pepper is a daily meal

Whea I’m  from Faneto or Juke song is the national anthem

And bopping is our go to dance move

Whea I’m from being friends with crackheads is normal

Whea I’m from the culture is just different 


Duane Thompson, Jr., ’23

I come from the third floor where all the noise was made

Big kids acting like they were all from the 2nd grade

 I come from a place where there was screaming and yelling

Brothers and sisters pleading how revenge was just so compelling 

Where I come from, that park was nowhere for kids to play

But only where police would drive by and find out where the victim lay


Where I come from, wait  no i’m still here 

Trapped in darkness

Voices in my head, whispering

The only thing I hear

Don’t like to admit but my mind is what I fear

But she makes way easier

The one I call my dear


Where I’m from, nothing is ever really yours

I’m scared to believe it no matter how many times she reassures

But I listen, and life has granted me you

Where I come from was very hard

But with you I can make anew


Now I don’t wanna sit here and end on a bad note

There were a few upsides and I kept my head afloat

Where I come from love was all you had 

I have the privilege of getting that love from my dad