826CHI: Homemade Clones by Vakaris R.

826CHI is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Their services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. 826CHI is dedicated to amplifying the voices of Chicago youth.

For over two years, Ace Hotel Chicago has been teaming up with nonprofit organization, 826CHI to give a platform to and further the mission of their organization. We’ve thrown birthday parties, collaborated on a zine together, hosted art shows and even have some of their books in our rooms. Each month, we highlight a poem from one of their students.

Homemade Clones by Vakaris R., grade 11, from I Will Hold You Like a Bible

And on the 8th Day, God said, “Let there be a blank slate, one not yet defined” //
Then on the 9th Day, the slate saw another, one not empty, but drawn on; one with
its identity etched into its glass surface // The 10th Day, the blank slate, me,
replicating the other’s identity, copying its character onto itself; scratching its
patterns, its hobbies, its interests, and its lifestyle deeper onto its own surface, until it
thought it became its own // But on Day 11, God couldn’t even tell the difference
between the two for the first had adopted and become the second slate // And on the
12th Day, the slates were the same… except the first knew it wasn’t itself.