My name is Fatumata Diakite. I was born on May 31,2001. It is important to know that I’m such a independent woman. I don’t rely on anyone to do something for me. Whatever I do it is for me and just me. I was born and raised in the Bronx, but my family is from Mali. I am 17 years old and I am Muslim. Being Muslim means so much to me. To be Muslim means to follow rules and regulations sent down from our prophet. To be Muslim means I must pray 5 times a day, to be Muslim means I must fast during the month of Ramadan, to be Muslim means I must wear a hijab in public. A hijab is a specific type of head covering Muslim women wear to cover their hair. Although some might not understand why we do this, we do this because as Muslim women we must cover up whatever attracts the eye of men; the hijab defines us as Muslim women as well. If a person was to walk pass by me they can automatically tell I am Muslim, which I’m most proud of. I speak multiple languages: English, Bambara, Soninke and a little bit of French. Throughout my life I’ve had the worst experiences and the best experiences but I’ll say entering high school was the most challenging of my life… for now.

I love school. This may sound a little cliche but school is the key to success. My favorite subject in school is history. I enjoy learning about ancient times and different cultures and countries. I am pretty much good with all my subjects like English and History but I do struggle sometimes in math. Math is my worst subject of all. I am very athletic so I love gym. Some sports I love to play are volleyball and badminton. I also love to jump rope. Overall, school is great! I’m pretty good at exams but I do get stressed before taking them. I’ve been like this all my life. The key to exam taking is studying, studying, studying and believing in yourself. School is great; I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to go to school and gain knowledge on a variety of things in different subjects.

I enjoy hanging out with my friends out of school. I don’t have many which is totally fine, the only thing that matters is that I’m surrounded by REAL people who support and love me through thick and thin. When I’m not in school me and my friends go out to eat at some of the dopest restaurants like Chick-Fil-A , Shake Shack, Black Tap etc. We’ll go watch a movie or stay and chill at one of our houses. We’ll talk, gossip, take pictures, you know… anything to keep ourselves busy. I’m good at Afro dancing and somewhat in Contemporary. I love to dance. When I’m not busy I do tend to take some classes and practice at home. Dancing makes me feel really happy, when I dance all negative thoughts and depressed thoughts all go away. At that moment I say to myself let me live my best life and not worry about anything else.

One person who is really close to me dropped out of high school. This person is my cousin. Although I really don’t know why she dropped out of high school some things she told me was she got bullied A LOT, no one liked her and people thought she was weird. Which I thought was really not fair, I can’t blame her, if I was in a situation like that I would’ve done the same. At the same time she shouldn’t have dropped out she should have easily just transferred schools and started off new. I guess she was scared the same thing would have happened again. As humans, especially teenagers, we must realize where ever we are and wherever we go there will always be people who will hate you and will do anything to put you down. You must stand up for yourself, dont care what others think, anything you do like dropping out of high school is going to affect you not them, so be brave and don’t care what others think.


CC BY-SA 4.0 You must stand up for yourself by Fatumata is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

1 Comment
  1. Jaden 2 weeks ago

    I love how passionate you are about your beliefs! Although my religion isn’t the same as yours, I still respect you for being so open and proud of it. It’s something that others tend to hide, so I love it when people will talk about their religion in such a joyful way. I also agree with what you said at the end, about being brave and not caring what others think. My siblings and I dealt with some level of bullying throughout our school years. And, it sucks but, you just need to put them behind you because they don’t know you as a person.

    Overall, I really liked how open you are throughout this. And although I can’t fully agree on the part where you love school, I definitely like history classes as well, haha.

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Youth Voices is organized by teachers at local sites of the National Writing Project and in partnership with Educator Innovator.

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