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‘Every day was a different and exciting adventure’: Nostalgic KCAPA student reflects on life experiences

Editor’s note: This essay was submitted by a student at Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School through a community partnership with Kensington Voice. The essay was developed from an autobiography assignment that Rebecca Mulligan assigned to students who speak English as a second language to improve their English proficiency.  

There are several important moments that I experienced in my life.  

First, in 2015, I remember when I played soccer with my friends back in the Dominican Republic. It was a very fun time where we enjoyed spending time together and running after a ball.

The field wasn’t very big, but it was wide enough for us to run and make our moves without bumping into each other. We placed two goalposts, and we were ready to start the game.

The match began with blowing the whistle and then running after the ball. We all wanted to have the ball at our feet, so we tried hard to pass it to each other, so we could score a goal. If someone scored a goal, we would jump for joy and hug each other as if we had won a championship.

Sometimes, when it was very hot, we would stop the game to drink water and rest a bit. We would sit on the grass and tell jokes and anecdotes, always laughing and having a great time together.

Time flew by when we were playing, and before we knew it, it was time to go home. We hugged goodbye and promised to play together again very soon.

Good ‘ol times! I loved playing soccer with my childhood friends. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and I will always cherish those memories with great affection.

Later, in 2016, I remember going to the beach with my family. It was an amazing and adventurous trip that I will never forget.

We arrived at the hotel at night, and we were very excited to see the beach for the first time. Upon waking up, we open the curtains in the room and find ourselves with a spectacular view of the Caribbean Sea. We rushed to change to go to the beach.

When we arrived, we were amazed by the beauty of the place. The water was crystal clear, and the sun was shining in the sky. We spread out our towels on the sand and started playing in the water.

We had a lot of fun swimming and making sand castles. Then, we decided to take a boat ride and see the nearby beaches. The landscape was impressive, with mountains and cliffs surrounding the coast.

In the afternoon, we went to a local restaurant and tried the typical food of the region. It was delicious! After eating, we returned to the beach to watch the sunset. It was a beautiful and unforgettable spectacle.

During the rest of the trip, we did many other activities, such as diving, windsurfing, and horseback riding. Every day was a different and exciting adventure.

But what I enjoyed the most was spending time with my family. There was so much happiness and love in the air that it was impossible not to enjoy every moment to the fullest.

In summary, my trip to the beach with my family was an amazing experience that I will always remember fondly. From the beautiful beach to the exciting activities, every detail made this trip one I’ll never forget.

Years later, in 2019, I  arrived in the United States with my mother, brother, and stepfather for the first time. After a long plane ride, we arrived in New York City and stayed at my aunt’s house in Brooklyn for a week.

During that time, my aunt showed us the sights of the city and took us out to eat at some of the best restaurants in the area. I loved walking the streets of Brooklyn and meeting my aunt and her friends.

After a week, we said goodbye to my aunt and headed to my grandfather’s house in Philadelphia. I remember being a little nervous because I had never lived with him. But I was excited to meet him and spend time together.

When we arrived, my grandfather welcomed us with open arms and made us feel at home. The house was small but cozy, and we had everything we needed to live comfortably.

My grandfather was an older man but very active and affectionate. He taught me to cook, play chess, and tend the garden. He also took me to visit some tourist places in the city, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the famous Italian Market.

During the evenings, we used to sit on the sofa and watch movies together. Sometimes my grandfather would tell me stories from his youth, and I would tell him about my life in my home country. It was a very special time for me, and I will always be grateful for having had the opportunity to live with my grandfather.

My arrival in the United States with my family and my stay at my aunt’s house in Brooklyn and then with my grandfather in Philadelphia was an unforgettable experience. Every detail, from city walks to movie nights at home, made my first trip to the United States a cherished memory forever.

In 2022, I graduated from middle school. It was an exciting and emotional day that I will never forget.

The graduation ceremony was in the school gym. I dressed in my cap and gown and met my friends and classmates. We were all nervous but excited about this great achievement.

The speeches from the teachers and students made me realize how much we had accomplished together during our middle school years. Despite the challenges, we had worked hard and were ready to face the next chapter of our lives.

Finally, it was time to receive our diplomas. One by one, we took the stage and received our diplomas while our family and friends applauded us. I felt so proud of myself and all my classmates.

After the ceremony, my friends and I took photos together and received congratulations from our families. It was a moment of joy and celebration that I will never forget.

My middle school graduation was an exciting and memorable time in my life. It was a celebration of the hard work and effort we had put into our studies over the previous years. I will always remember the sense of pride I felt upon receiving my diploma and the joy of sharing this moment with my friends and family.

All those moments were very fun. Every day, my childhood friends and I spent time together at the same time as usual. Now that I’m not with my friends from back home, I don’t go out a lot. I miss laughing and hanging out together. The times with them were the most important moments of my life. Every year when I have vacation from school, I visit my old home so I can visit my friends. They’ve grown so much. They don’t have as much energy anymore. But after I came to the United States and returned home for the first time, they got emotional, and we played a lot together. We play games online. I hope to see them again soon and do what we used to do together.

Editors: Siani Colón, Zari Tarazona / Designer: Siani Colón