Edna Akimana, 23

Edna Akimana emigrated from Bujumbura, Burundi, in East Africa, to Portland, Maine, at the age of 19 and currently studies medical library science at the University of Maine. She writes to express herself and as an intentional process of thinking before she acts. Akimana believes her writing helps reveal her perspective as a young immigrant living alone in the United States.

She runs a blog "Imprint on My Heart," and believes that creativity encourages great learning. Akimana’s writing has been featured in various publications published by The Telling Room, a Portland, Maine, youth writing organization, including A Season for Building Houses and The Guidebook for New Mainers, a partnership with Deering High School.



by Edna Akimana


Sometimes I do feel strong, responsible, but there are times when I feel not strong enough to do everything by myself in the middle of a hard situation. But when I think about my past I get the energy and confidence to continue. I wish that we as immigrants were all lucky, that we could all have the chance to continue our studies like others instead of hearing that we are not eligible for this and that, and seeing those who have the opportunity to do that stop at a High School diploma when they have a chance to get financial aid for college. I wish we had parents who had good jobs, that we had grown with peace and justice in our home countries. Maybe some of us will not end up by being depressed, by living with worry all the time. Yes, this is how life is; one day you smile, another you cry. But still you have dreams. Each day you have a chance. You hope, hope and hope that the shape of things, of your own life, will come.