Taisha Sturdivant, next time I see you in person I want to give you a big hug and take you out to dinner. I am so proud to be in the same college as you, and I want to wish you a happy birthday. I really look forward to meeting you in the future.

The story:

Taisha Sturdivant grew up around Four Corners, in Dorchester, on a dead end called Harvard Park that looked nothing like a park and was home to no one who went to Harvard. The gangsters sold their drugs and fired their guns and Taisha winced at the pop-pop-pop and kept her head down.

Her brother started running with a gang, and then one day he wasn’t running anymore: He was standing, in a courtroom, in front of a judge, because he sold drugs.

“First time I was in a courtroom, I was 12. It was to show support for my brother,’’ she said. “He’s still incarcerated.’’

Taisha Sturdivant grew up around Four Corners, in Dorchester, on a dead end called Harvard Park that looked nothing like a park and was home to no one who went to Harvard. The gangsters sold their drugs and fired their guns and Taisha winced at the pop-pop-pop and kept her head down.

Her brother started running with a gang, and then one day he wasn’t running anymore: He was standing, in a courtroom, in front of a judge, because he sold drugs.

By the time Taisha Sturdivant enrolled at Brandeis, many of the kids she grew up with were dead, in prison, or, like her sister, single parents living in the projects.

“No one I grew up with went to college,’’ she said. “No one.’’

She is 20 years old, going on 40. She’s a junior at Brandeis and she’s been on the dean’s list every semester. She writes poetry and knows a lot about the world. She spent last summer on the Mexican border, working with immigrants. She’s going to Ghana in January, for six months, to put into practice some of her ideas on education.

She’s going to finish up at Brandeis next year, go to law school, and then Taisha Sturdivant is going to change the world.

Believe it.

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