For me, I cannot appreciate just one person, without celebrating others. My special people are Kiersten Gaines, Tia Little, and Jayla Fletcher. I consider them my trinity–not God the Father, not His Son Jesus Christ, and not The Holy Ghost–but supremely precious to me nevertheless. Although we’ve had our ups and downs, they mean a lot to me. I met them at just age 8 and our bond has grown so close that I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Currently we are sophomores at the same school, Lindblom High School, in Englewood. And I can’t imagine being without them in the years to come. Even should we go to different colleges, or live in different cities, I know we will remain close.
It all started in second grade. I was new to the school, Edgar Allan Poe Classical, in Pullman, on the south side of Chicago. They’d known each other since kindergarten. I felt so lost and shy, not knowing anyone. Tia approached me with a smile and said, “Hi!” I was caught off guard by her outgoingness, but I loved it. I spent the rest of class with her and it was time for recess. She introduced me to her other friends. “This is Jayla and this is Kiersten.” They both greeted me with a smile and we went to play in the playground. We played many games such as tag and dodgeball. It was so much fun and I knew I could hang with them forever.
Since then, we’ve had numerous sleepovers and hangouts. Slowly but surely, we have become closer. We started sharing our deepest secrets and aspirations in life. We talked about our career paths, family life, and other social goals. These are the people who know me best. They know how to cheer me up.
Although I love my friends to death, they can be really annoying at times. But I know they have my best interest at heart. We started to grow up together. Telling each other secrets, the dreaded advice we needed to hear, and having each other’s back no matter what. They are my support system and looking back on the memories we’ve shared makes me so grateful for them.
We have our bad moments, don’t get me wrong. We’ve gone days without speaking, but when we are finally ready to work it out, we handle it calmly. It hasn’t always been this way, but we matured together and our friendship is stronger than ever. We will all be 18 soon and I feel like I’ve created lifelong bonds. I imagine them in my wedding, being aunties to their children, and strengthening our bond. And when I become successful, I look forward to sharing my fortune with my day ones.
Friendship is a very important piece of my life and Kiersten, Jayla, and Tia fill it. They are my special people because they helped me grow, always have my back, and of course make me laugh even on my worst days.
Jasmine Pettway, Lindblom Math & Science Academy
Cubs RBI Scholars Class of 2024