Kimora Smith, 14, is a freshman at Wakefield High School. Her mother, Zakiya Worthey, is a member of Black Parents of Arlington.
"I’ve lived on the Pike six years. Before that we lived in Chesapeake, Virginia. Things are very different here than where I lived before. Everything is closer together here, also there are different kinds of people. Where I was before was not as diverse. In my classes now, I have classmates who are from different backgrounds than me, some are Hispanic, some are South Asian. I have friends from those types of people, which has been a good thing.
I’m a cheerleader. It’s fun. I’m still working on my tumbling. You have to take classes for that, like learning how to flip. I’m on the JV squad. I had to try out for it. The tryout is three days long. You work all day long and they evaluate you on what you’ve learned. It was kind of scary, but I made it.
What I like to do for fun is hang out with my friends, mostly at our house. We like to watch movies, we like to dance. I like K-Pop music. A lot of of my best friends are Ethiopian. They speak Amharic, but I don’t speak it myself. I’ve learned about their culture, and they’ve learned some about me, too.
The best part of the community around here is the food. I really like sushi. I like tacos, and I’ve eaten Ethiopian food at my friends’ houses. I like injera. We go the Celtic House, too.
I went to Hoffman-Boston Elementary School. I know its history. It used to be the first Black high school in Arlington. Now the school has all kinds of kids, Mongolians, Latino, and others. It’s the most diverse elementary school in the county. I like high school now, so far. I’m a good student, and am taking the core classes- English, math, science, plus art. I like art class. I paint, mostly random stuff. I feel like I fit in in my classes, and I haven’t experienced discrimination in school. I also am learning ASL, American Sign Language. I want to learn it so I can reach out and to also teach people. No one in my family is deaf, but it’s something I decided to do. I’m going to take a summer class at Gallaudet, the college in DC for the deaf. One time we ran into a deaf man at Pentagon City Mall, and he needed help, so I signed for him, and went in to help him get something to eat.
I want to be a lawyer. I want to help people to win cases and get justice if they were wronged. I’m planning on going to college and then going to law school. I want to go to NYU [New York University] because they have a good law program. I don’t think I’ll end up back in this area. I like New York. I’ve been to the city and it’s exciting.
I do like the many different kinds of people in the community here, though. and hope it can stay that way. It’s why we came here to live. What I hope for our community is that it doesn’t change; that it stays the same. There’s so many types of people here. It’s nice to walk down the Pike sometimes and to see everybody. I’m worried about it changing, but not too much."