Thank you for being the support system when I needed it. Thank you for shaping my perspective on life and introducing me to a host of diverse communities. Thank you for being the vessel for my creativity. Thank you for being my blueprint.
You gave me the hope I needed to become great. Your constant support has been my backbone during hard times. You gave me the confidence to grow into an out-spoken, creative and determined young woman.
I look back at the person I have been and have become, and I am in awe of the growth and opportunities you have given me, all of which have allowed me to find my voice and write my story. You never tried to change me, instead you gave me a platform to shape my identity and create an imprint for the 79,000 young people that live here.
I love the peace I get from walking through Fryent Country Park, and I love visiting the horses that me and my best friend seem to have adopted as our own. I love Roe Green Park and the memories I have of walking through it to get to school, and taking my little brother to play Basketball. I love Kingsbury library, which became my second home as a child and I am so thankful for the memories spent in Wembley.
You made me who I am and for that I will always be grateful.
It is because of you that I met my best friends and the girls I call my sisters. You gave me a second family. And now when I drive past the places we used to haunt as kids. I think about how we have left our mark.
But like anything in life things around here aren’t always perfect. There is a crisis happening amongst our youth, kids are swapping pens for knives, weaponizing their pain and leaving behind a trail of heart-ache and displaced anger.
As a community it is our duty to come together to support the young people of Brent, teach them that their lives matter because this current chapter has to come to a close. Not every story has a happy ending but I refuse to believe that the ending of this one has already been written; we have the time to change it, and we will!
And to the families that have already been affected by youth violence, your pain is our pain. You do not have to go through this alone.
But if there is anything that the recent tragedies has proved, it is that as a community we have each other’s back. For many it would have been easy to crumble but I have personally witnessed citizens coming together to support each other in community spirit. This borough matters to so many and it shows.
As we move into next year, it will become evident to the country why we have so much pride as we push forward in leaving behind a legacy that will surpass 2020 and leave myself and thousands of other young people at the forefront of a new movement.