“We Are Here” Story Collection

Residents were asked, “Please tell us about an important moment in your life that would help someone understand what it’s like living in your neighborhood.” Explore 50 responses below, selected at random. Which stories capture your attention? (Some responses were transcribed by youth volunteers.) To learn more about the storyteller and how they interpreted their response, click “Zoom In.”

Don’t Give Up Hope

Growing up in a poor community. Pakhoke was a large work camp. The community raised the children. My mother did farm work. There was no violence. We were taught principles to work for what we want and … We were raised in the church. We love Pahokee, but now it’s sad to see what Pahokee has become as the jobs have moved out. There are broken families, not enough food to eat, not enough guidance for the younger generation. We need to work to enjoy life and earn what we get. There are few kids to have the opportunity to…
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Clean up the streets

What it’s like living in my neighborhood.Well you have 10th ave where the young boys sell drugs and the park where we have our little league football. Things bad around here no structure at all. Hopefully we can come together one day and clean up the streets .
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Choose the right ones

Listen the way people can be brought up is by choice the way they can live life is by the way they want to most people may do more bad things after one mistake and some may be forgiven
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My brothers -Devonte white

Coming up i had a lot of brothers so i can say they was important to me. They protected me and always made sure i was straight. I don’t really know where i would be without them.
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Moving

Growing up in my neighborhood i was the only white kid there but i tried so hard to fit in. I would just go with the flow of doing what the others did. I couldn’t play football at all and i couldn’t play basketball but that’s something everyone was great at but i was a great runner and when we raced everyone wanted to be on my team or wanted me to be on there’s and it made me feel great
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The sixteen year old boy

Recently there was a shooting right down the street from my house. A 16 year old boy killed a 21 year old man on accident. This young 16 year old shot him dead in front of everyone at a park. The same park my kids play at. It’s just a very sad thing to see happen a young 16 year old now a murder.
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The neighborhood of renters

I wouldn’t want people to live in my neighborhood because you have many renters in the neighborhood who don’t take care of their things. When i was driving home from work i realized that there was somebody breaking into a car as if it was their own. The neighborhood is a mess i wouldn’t allow the worst child to stay there kids fighting kids left and right , parents arguing, people dying i wouldn’t wish for my biggest enemy to stay here.
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Living in Belle Glade

This is a very diverse community. A lot of different nationalities. When I came here, I was raised in a community in South Carolina where there wasn’t such a diversity. When I came here, I saw how … a lot of times in a place like this you have to live it to understand it. It’s a community where people get along but I don’t think people are as close as they should be because of their upbringing. It’s very complicated. My brother drove 18 wheelers, filled vegetables from the field and brought them to the plants. I would ride…
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Never stop searching for answers

I don’t know if this has anything to do with my neighborhood but when I was young I had a lot of questions and not enough answers. I wanted to know why this group of people got so much, when I had so little. Why they could go to college and I couldn’t. I didn’t except what people told me and I searched for answers myself. I ended up with a scholarship to college and different outlook on life
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Finally Home

The important moment was when I moved here 2010 from WPB. I was homeless. I had income but it was not enough to find somewhere to live. I was living with several peopele in a room but it didn’t work out and I was kicked out. So then I went to another place, paid my rent and then 3 days he lights went out. And the place was in debt and it was freezing cold and no electricity. I was so distraught, asking my lord to take me. And then I read a newsletter, call and spoke with a woman…
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A hole left in me

When Greg Bryant jr was shot in a drive by shooting on i-95. It impacted me and my brother a lot because we grew up with him and that shooting made me look at life different. I started doing things different and staying out of trouble
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The New house !

When my dad told us that we were buying house . It was a great moment for us , because we wanted a bigger room for each of us . We had been sharing the same room between 3 kids. We were super excited when we found out we wouldn’t be sharing rooms anymore. We were happy to see that we had a big yard . But we were sad to leave our old house and neighborhood we lived in. We were excited though to move.
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Finding me

I remember this time when one of my friends chose not to go to school everywhere they went they saw the same person by the time they got home their parents knew they had not gone to school this person informed their parents they were not in school. So this shows how people in the community look out for each other’s kids.
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Ocean life-Rickia

I have been following oceans and water since I could remember. I now live on the ocean where I can wake up to the sound of the water everyday. When I was a child my father introduced me to this life because he was in the military and traveled and moved a lot. When I had my family I choose to settle in a small community close to the ocean.
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Living Dreams Through Nightmares

It’ll usually be 5:30 I’m at McDonald’s with my coffee, lab top, and WiFi. It’s a lot of sunshine because I’m on the good side 7:30. Then I start walking to the dark side where you usually see red and yellow tape, blue and red lights. Shaking hands with the good fellows with a smile but also with their hand behind their back having a knife. I hang out talking about sports and life then go to football practice and see bright lights.
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Never give up-Rickia

My hood was very poor with too much pride. I was determined to make it a better place. I ended up with a scholarship to college and different outlook on life. I returned to my hood a made it a better place
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Safety first (Story #481)

I remember one night I was at home. Next thing you know I hear gunshots. I thought nothing of it until I went to watch the news the next day and seen somebody was shot and killed by my house. It worried me about my safety.
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My community (Story #387)

In 2011, child poverty reached record high levels, with 16.7 million children living in food insecure households, about 35% more than 2007 levels.A 2013 UNICEF report ranked the U.S. as having the second highest relative child poverty rates in the developed world.According to a 2016 study by the Urban Institute, teenagers in low income communities are often forced to join gangs, save school lunches, sell drugs or exchange sexual favors because they cannot afford food.
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The streets

Important moment In my life was when my brother died . It made me realize that the streets of Boynton Beach are not for anyone. Things really got bad around here.
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Buying a house- Devonte white

Important moment in my life was buying a house. I saved all my money and worked two jobs to get my own house. I did not want to live with my mom anymore
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Life

Important moment in life was getting out of jail. I went to jail when I was younger doing stupid things around the neighborhood. When I look back on it I could of avoided it.
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Odds and ends

Important moment in my life is when my mom died . I was 22 and was in college I came home and stayed never went back . Since then I found a job and been around the city ever since . Can’t really say it’s bad but it has its negative and positive.
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Good community (Story #458)

I agree with the previous person. You can’t base how the neighborhood is off of one moment. Not all moments are good and not all of them are bad. From the Boynton I know we have our ups and downs but we will always be a good community.
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Pioneers on the move.

I grew up in a close knit farming community where everyone knew one another. My families origin goes back to my great grandmother migrating to the Glades from Eleuthera, Bahamas in 1897 to Pahokee. Most families traveled to the Glades seeking work.
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Growing Up Without Parents

Losing a mother and being raised by an aunt. This ensured that I had to over come obstacles and pave a way for myself and siblings to get through life.
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One Big Family

My neighbor next door made sure that I got home safely from school while my parents were at work. The community was one big family.
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My move to Pahokee, FL

When my husband decided that our family would move to his hometown of Pahokee, FL. I knew it would be a significant change moving from a metropolitan city, 1,000,000+ to a small city of about 6,000 people. My husbands return home was two fold. He wanted to be close to his family-mother, father, brothers and sister but also wanted to help his community by becoming the Mayor, which meant for him using all that he had learned and experienced, bringing it back home to Pahokee. He was adamant about returning home from the day we met in 1993 at Alabama…
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Good and Bad

Growing up round violence. Family Orientation around the community and motivation.
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Diverse

It’s uneventful because it’s quite, peaceful and with lovely people.
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Born and raised in Delray Beach- Kene

Giving birth to my children. I was born and raised in Delray so it was nice to have all my family and friends present. And something I’m looking forward to oneday, is purchasing my own house in Delray for my family.
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Scared

I never thought me growing up was so ruff for me. My mom and dad died in a car accident. I was raised by my grandparents raised me until they past away I been living from house to house in finish house still didn’t go off to college .
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Halloween in delray

Last Halloween we went to our neighbors house and we had a thousand homes in our community and a lot of young families halloween is a good event in our community my neighborhood is friendly oriented and family oriented and have lots of fun
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Living in Quiet Waters

Real nice. People are pretty nice, staff are nice. High school champions (Glades Central). Pretty comfortable. Moved here 10 years ago, still about the same. One of the best places in belle glade to live. Nice people come to visit.
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a bad night in boynton.

an important moment my interviwees life was. a time back about 10 years ago when she was driving down the street and then out of nowhere her car broke down now this was late at and she says that she was going to walk to a gas station to get gas and when she was walking a group of boys was walking and she was walking for a good while and noticed that they were following her so she decided to cross the street and walk on the other side and thet crossed also, then the group stsrted running after…
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Learn to love

“People may say hurtful things “ growing up a different color doesn’t mean you don’t have different blood
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Coming from Haiti

I grew up in a very tough neighborhood. My parents had moved from Haiti to America at arrived here at the age of 7 I lived in Boynton for 46 years. Growing up I was called rude nasty things. “I was often told to go back to Haiti” or “go back to the boat that brought me here” and fought a lot over this.
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Stay in school (Story #186)

In my community was all good but the high school was out of control because the students thought they could just run around wild getting girls pregnant , selling drugs and more things The kids now should stay inside the school And become some body
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Kitalicious

I came to this town in 7th grade from Riviera. I meshed better with the kids here than in Rivera. There was a big difference from school to school. If iI had stayed in Rivera I do not think that I would be the same person I am today. I know myself better because I moved here.
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Good community (Story #249)

An important moment in my life is when my mom died. Everyone in the community came together to help me and my family out. People actually are good around here for the most part.
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Don’t become

Growing was odd for me I was thinking that if I do this I’ll become better but me doing it didn’t make me come better it made me. A threat to the system now I can’t get the job I want all because I seen the. Grown ups doing things
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Neighbor helping Neighbor

During the hurricane one side of our street lost power and the other side had power. We were on the side without power. Our neighbors with power came over everyday with cold water, cooked us food and invited us to use their washer and dryer anytime we needed it. It was truly neighbor helping neighbor
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My life (Story #98)

Many of them have worked for decades examining poverty-related issues—from hiring discrimination to segregation in housing and education, criminal justice reform to immigration, deep poverty to homelessness. Even though they had devoted their lives to fighting poverty, some of the participants asked whether their work made any difference at all.
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Y community

Thirty-five percent of participants stopped important activities after their events, with personal illnesses having this effect most frequently. In addition to these negative consequences, participants reported positive consequences of their stressful events for their lives.
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Youth Growing up in The Heart of Boynton

Growing up in the heart of Boynton Beach and a young man was challenging for me. I grew up in a home with no positive male figures and no positive role models. I was raised by a single parent and it was no easy task. My mother did the best she could with the limited resources she had.
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Family

I used to work in the local corner store. People were also nice to me. We were like family. I would see the same people everyday and we would bond in the course of 5 minutes of them being there.
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Become the better person

It’s either life can take down the good road or the bad on you choose what road you wanna take See me my choice was that I took the bad road I’ve been in prison for 17 years got out 2015 the way I grew up was horrible mother being on crack ,sister having a baby at teen age , becoming a drug dealer I have been doing things I regret cause what situation I’m in right now is worst that’s why I want better for the Young’s kids that’s around me
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