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,
Transcendent like the sun from which the moon reflects,
The only difference between the stars and the sun itself,
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,
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,
Mine is a new kind of Everest
So, 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.