One of the first things I do with students each year is writing poetry. We work together to create "Where I'm From" poems that help them to identify the qualities in themselves, their families, and their culture that make them unique and diverse. Throughout the year, these poems become a foundation to help us dive deeper into finding our voice to express challenges in our own lives and in our communities. By celebrating where we all have come from, we are building empathy and being transparent about our own experiences. This opens the door to talk about how experiences help to shape us - our thoughts and behaviors.