Sandrine is a a Columbia University junior majoring in Computer Science and Visual Arts. She is a CU Players director and a Columbia Robotics member. I am always searching for ways to make an impact, whether with words on paper or code syntaxes. She seeks to drive social and environmental change through action and word. Passionate about poetry, Sandrine shared her poem written in 2020 at this year’s annual event, She Will Rise.


There’s a difference between a sparrow and an eagle

There’s a difference between a shooting star and a star

There’s a difference between the moon and the sun

Now the difference between Gashora girls and

The difference between Gashora girls and….

Wait, we are not different,

What we are,

Is transcendent………………..

Transcendent like the sun from which the moon reflects,

The only difference between the stars and the sun itself,

Is light.

I’m the sun.

I lie among the heavens,

Stretching beams, so strong, so reverend,

Lighting up the sky, I shine upon dreadful nights

I don’t eclipse nor chase away heavenly bodies out of sight,

You see, I share my light

And embrace the solar system, you see, now that’s the Gashora system.

In the morning when the day breaks

I see the sunrise

and I rise, for a new day

I rise like Gashora taught me,

I rise.


In the morning,

I wake up to the melodies of wisdom

That I’m yet to share and learn from the world

I wake up to the sights of inventions

The ones Gashora girls create with dedication in education

I wake up to their powerful voiced minds

Discussing ideas beyond a curriculum,

Minds like creative gold mines…...

I wake up to make my dreams a reality

and when reality seems a bit scary

Death tolls and the pandemic

Causing so much panic

I…….. rise, like it’s a beautiful morning

Shining in the darkest hour

Shining brighter than any other stars.

My transcendence is in my movement, like a shooting star’s

So you know I only ride the night, when I’m patching people’s broken skies

Spreading happiness, hope, and cheer,

“Wish upon a shooting star” a little stardust of mine will appear

A small gaze upon Gashora

Visions of the future of Africa

When lowering the dark clouds, I rise above the storm,

Amid the lightning’s flash and thunder crash

I scream, “Victory is mine”

transcendent like an eagle, different from a sparrow,

Is my fearlessness

To take on any kind of challenge

Building this community,

And I mean literally………..

With my two hands,

Brick by brick, I architect monuments

Bigger than society imagines,

More profound than a simple trance,

The monuments of unity in my society,

Is what I’m building, and I won’t stop until I soar up to

To the mountain’s crest,

I stretch my wings and take flight,

I rise…….

Mine is a new kind of Everest

So, I rise

I rise

To a humble place, a noble nest Gashora

Nurturing each girl’s dream under its wings

Kept me warm from self-doubt and despair

I grew to mount trees, learned to sing

I found strength from perching in Gashora’s care

Striving to help me take flight,

I own the atmosphere as I fly with delight,

Carrying the Gashora spirit.

Across Rwanda, to all 30 districts,

There lies a soul from Gashora,

Striving far more than to do well,

Transcendent, Rising to excel

And our tales, Oh yes, we will tell.

Transcendent like an eagle,

Transcendent like the sun,

Transcendent like the stars,

By being who we are…

We are transcendent.

Help These girls To change the world.


Linda Mutesi: Leadership in Action


A Graduates Journey