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Meet Ama from 3 Willows

Everything is changing. Next year I’ll be in high school. People change and places change. There’s no time to look back, really. There’s a lot to look ahead to.

My family moved to the United States from Ghana because my parents wanted my older sister, Esi, to go to the best possible college. And she did. She’s at Princeton Pre-med.

Esi is extremely smart. She won a summer study grant from the Student Leader Foundation four years in a row. Only 200 people get them in the country. No one has received one since. Except me, now. Summer school at Andover (with my friend Grace) was my first choice. I didn’t get it. Or my second. Or my third. I’m going on a program called Wild Adventures in Wyoming. It’s so wrong for me. But I have to do it. It goes on my school record. My parents would never let me drop it.

Esi. School. My parents.
You could say I’m under a lot of pressure.

I also have a little brother named Bob. He’s five. My parents gave him the most American name they could think of. It’s kind of funny.

My friends, like Jo and Polly, aren’t really as focused on school as I am. That’s why I’ve been spending more time with people like Grace, kids on the honor roll crowd (the grade-grubbers, as Jo calls them). But there’s nothing wrong with choosing to do academic projects with kids who want to succeed like I do, is there? Jo or Polly aren’t serious enough about their work.

I’d heard about the Sisterhood when I was in 6th grade. It sounded amazing, to have these friends that were always there for you. A lot of people tried to be like them. Polly and Jo and I shared a pair of jeans, and then a denim skirt, and then a jean jacket, and then a scarf. That was kind of lame when I think about it.

I hope this summer works out okay.
But I’m not expecting much.


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