Mission Girl

I belong in the Mission,
I grew up there, and people are friendly,
it looks like a little Mexico, and that’s my home.
My grandpa inspires me.
He was, and still is, a great person.
I wanna be like that.
I love hip hop
like I love my three-year-old brother
when he is playing with my basketball
and he has a big smile.
I dream of getting a 3.0 for the rest of the year
because I promised my dad and grandpa I would.
I stand up for myself.
If someone is talking about me,
I will go up to them and say,
“Why are you talking about me?”
I know you have my back
when you are always there for me.
When I am down and sad, you’re with me.
When I am in trouble, you say,
“When you are in trouble,
I’m in trouble.”
I will fight for my life,
protect myself,
stick up for myself,
won’t let anyone hurt me.
I will fight for my life,
it is my life, and I wanna keep it.
I wanna be here.

–Angelica Salazar, 15

From the WritersCorps 2013 book Be About It: Affirmations of Life & Love by students at International Studies Academy.


Bok Choy

Green as the green grass on a spring day
Leafy as a big tree
Lots of lines like a zebra
Bok Choy

Braised in chicken broth
Tasty as a piece of steak
Sweet as a piece of chocolate
Bok Choy

You are the greatest plant of all
So short yet so tall
King of all
Bok Choy

–Benjamin Wong, 14

From the WritersCorps 2013 book “Painted in Rain,” by students at Aptos Middle School

Poem of the Month: August 2013



You say I’m not perfect
Push me down
Call me names
But why

Is it because I’m a teen mom
Because I’m young
Because I fell in love at 14
Or am I just not your perfect

What is perfect
Can you tell me
Being married first
Waiting to fall in love
Having a good job at 25
Is that your perfect

Is that the daughter you expected
You always said, “Nobody is perfect”
“Only Grandma because it’s her name” (Perfecta)
At least I can always say my grandma is perfect

I’m sorry I’m not perfect
Not in your way

–Patricia Duarte, 18

From the WritersCorps 2013 book “A Few Things I Know,” by students at Hilltop School.

Poem of the Month: July 2013



I am grateful for my life,
for being alive,
and for being who I am today.
I am also grateful for my family,
they give me everything I need to live,
and even give me more
to make me happy.
I show my family love,
try to do all they ask me to do,
be a good son, be honest with them.
I am happiest when I get to go outside
with friends and play sports,
or stay inside and chill with friends,
and play video games.
I can offer the world my intelligence,
my leadership in hard situations,
and my respect
for all people of all ethnicities.

–Erick Rodriguez, 15
From the WritersCorps 2013 book Be About It: Affirmations of Life & Love, by students at International Studies Academy.

Poem of the Month: June 2013


The Immigrants

Staring at their hearts in two pieces
Migrants leave their countries
Carrying bags of their pain
Their fears and dreams
Forgo daily sunrises
With the farewell of those they love most
They climb the airport steps
And in the metal birds
Head north across the ocean
Leave for another culture
Like a fish out of water
And here the ground of their homeland
Will feel their absence

–Elizabeth Guardado-Ibarra, 16
From the WritersCorps 2012 book The True Lie by students at Mission High School.

Poem of the Month: May 2013


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    “Tell the World” is a collection of writing by WritersCorps students across the country. With a range of voices and diverse perspectives, “Tell the World” gives an honest glimpse into the lives of young people today. With a foreword by Sherman Alexie, two essays by WritersCorps teachers, and writing prompts, this book shows how poetry can allow us to tell the world who we are, where we’re from, what we love, and why we hope. See why the New York Times recommends “Tell the World.”


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