The Fundraisers’ Mission Statement

I am From

Elena Sanchez

I am from the big yellow house in the middle of the street

I am from the street where there’s no bike riding,

The street where the ice cream truck never slows down

I am from the porch you could hide under

I am from the house that had dirt where grass should be

I am from the stolen skateboard

I am from the school where asking for help was tattling

I am from the desk in the back corner

I am from the books read at recess

I am from the pictures drawn in gym

I am from the broken lunchbox

I am from a fight on the playground

I am from a weave in my eight year old hands

I am from ignoring rumors and laughing them off

I am from dismissing the past

I am from learning to trust and making friends

I am from the CD’s on repeat

I am from the notebook under my mattress

I am from 100 pairs of headphones blown out

I am from 1,000 mistakes huge mistakes and meager relationships

I am from dreams of being someone

I am from frustrated tears on a pillow

I am from the tissues that dried them away

I am from a mother who never gave up

I am from crawling through life but

I am from getting back up as well

I am from pain I thought would never end

I am from victory over my younger years

I am from saddle shoes and out of style clothes

And I am from making them work

I am from a mold of my own

I am from perseverance

I am from never staying down

I am from a fight that will never end

Elena Sanchez wrote this poem during her senior year at Saint Martin de Porres High School in Cleveland.  A work study program helped pay her tuition, and a scholarship helped.

Elena then attended Oberlin College – on a scholarship. She is now an Account Manager for a major company in the Midwest.

The development profession helped make her education possible. That is a humbling feeling, indeed.