1. Beyoncé is proof that magic is real.
I first saw her in concert during her Formation tour, and it made me so appreciative to live in a time when I can watch an amazing black woman onstage talk about her identity. I think it made me see the past, present and future.

2. Ask and you shall receive.
Ms. Lee was my teacher for AP calculus, one of my hardest classes. I asked her to write me a college recommendation letter, and it turns out I was the only person at our school to get one from her. I’m proud of that fact—I might even get it tattooed on my body!

3. Being biracial means being human.
My mama is African American and from Wisconsin. My baba was born in Iran. My parents have stressed the idea of creating your own path, and creating your own identity is part of that. That’s why embracing these two cultures is important to me. When you’re biracial, you can feel like you’re fully neither, not fully both. But I won’t strip away my heritage for anyone’s comfort.

4. Even younger brothers can be great friends.
Of course we bicker when I want to know who took my charger, but we love one another very much. Our close bond has taught me the true meaning of friendship—and what to expect from other relationships.

5. Hair is allowed to take up space.
I’m louder and bigger with my curls. There’s power in that. Also, straight hair is kind of annoying. It gets caught in my collar.


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