“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.”

Safety first (Story #469)

I have a young niece and nephew who goes to the Hester center all the time. I remember them talking about two “gangs” are not getting along. So that worried me what this gets out of control. Thankfully it didn’t but now I restrict them going over to the park. I just want them to be safe.
Zoom In

All about bridges

When i was younger early 20s i moved to Boynton Beach from South Carolina and me and my sister had kids. It was really rough trying to do everything we was aware of any sources to help us we didn’t know about things like bridges and that would’ve been very useful. As i got older i knew about bridges Best thing of my life
Zoom In

Working for the US Sugar Co-Operation

Born in 1947, started working when I was 15 years old. Most important thing I experienced coming up is due to workforce-the sugar cane. I got older, getting a job with us sugar-I worked for 35 years. It was hard, very hard work but you had to make a living somehow. I also picked spring beans but the harvesters took the work away. I grew up in lake harbor and they bussed us to school. Quiet waters used to be lake shore high school and we were bussed from the camps in lake …
Zoom In

Hope and Vote to Change

Growing up in Pahokee, a small city in Western Palm Beach County, with nearly eight thousand residents. The people was proud and full of life. While people with jobs did not earn salaries like middle class earners today, more people had jobs and there own place to live. Today, our communities are faced with homelessness, a lack of jobs, substance abuse and violence without cause. I had a wonderful childhood. I recall having lots of friends and everyone in the community getting along without the drama of guns and gang violence. Parents could leave the kids home alone for a …
Zoom In

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.
Zoom In

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.
Zoom In

It’s life

My race has always given me a problem. Police always tend to look me up and down. Stop me in stores and ask questions. No specific moment but jut life in general.
Zoom In

Old school

The police said he grew up in clewston he said it was great they helped one another when you get into trouble from with your neighbor you get in trouble at home
Zoom In

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
Zoom In

Stay away

Many people may not know things that happen during the past In Rivera I used to do things I regret this community was terrifying and horrible life wasn’t always good for those who did bad but god thing I prayed to god And changed my ways around glad to see these young gentlemen and ladies be successful hope they keep doing what they have to do And stay out of trouble
Zoom In

Sports (Story #181)

Playing sports was a important moment in my life.It kept me off the streets and focused on something. Most of my friends was in the streets and now they dead or in jail .
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 …
Zoom In

Care

When my dad earned dad earned his citizenship we were very happy and when we came home everyone else was happy as well we could tell because they threw him a little get together and we thought that was pretty nice that they cared.
Zoom In

The outreach group

Me and my neighbor work together and made an outreach program at.I soon became involved with many other churches and outreach programs like the one at “agape”.I organized volunteer groups and helping out with special needs at the church. The church and neighborhood work as one big team
Zoom In

Ice cream man

If you live in the heart of Boynton you would know about the ice cream man. If you hungry he got what you need. I remember the kids running to get stuff before everything run out. Kids love him, he’s like family.
Zoom In

We gotta do better

This did not happen in my life but it affected me. A young boy was shot and killed in Boynton Beach. Now I didn’t know him but I miss him. What if that was my son or nephew. We gotta do better.
Zoom In

LOVE (Story #632)

GROWING UP WAS EVERYTHING I HAD THE NICEST HELPFUL PARENTS THEY GAVE AND HELP ME
Zoom In

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
Zoom In

Business minding-Nelcael Jospeh

Once i was walking with my grandma. She lived by my school so she would walk to pick me up everyday and while we were walking we heard arguing and my grandma gripped my hand and started walker fast she said come on boy walk fast i said grandma we should help them she said shut you mouth and mind your business i wouldn’t dare say another word because my grandma didn’t play the radio. When we had walked into the house she fixed me a snack as she usually would and we heard gun shots I looked at ,y …
Zoom In

Belle Glade should be a better city

I wish the community was better. They need to get more resources. More places for people to go. Not much is in Belle Glade to do and enjoy. You can make a living in Belle Glade. I moved from Georgia in 2001. I liked Georgia better because it was cheaper. But I still like it here. A young boy got killed back in 2016. He was running and the police shot him 3-4 times. We need more enforcement here in Belle Glade, because that’s not supposed to happen. The officer is still in the force. The force used to be …
Zoom In

The Day at the Store

I Remember as a young adult about 18-20 when me and my mother were at a local store and I was referred to as “boy” by a white man. My mother didn’t react calmly at all to this she yelled at the man for his disrespectful attitude and words. At first I had no clue why my mother would react like that.As time passed by and I grew older I realized she felt him calling me a “boy”was degrading. Because our past during segregation she explained how that reference would always be degrading no mater what.
Zoom In

Something out of nothing

Boynton Beach high schools prom walk through was cancelled. I remember my Bruce being upset about it. Then she got the news that one of the students told everybody that it was at his house. So they all came together to make it a real walk through. This shows how you can make something out of nothing.
Zoom In

Changes from the past to present

From the past to right now the family values have changed. Back then the community raised us. People used to watch the kids. Athletics have decreased.
Zoom In

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.
Zoom In

Growing up (Story #493)

Growing up in my community was going good at first but than it slanted. Things started to feel off but one day I seen this. Kid on the news he died because i fatal shoot out was happening. Around his neighborhood
Zoom In

Differences

Everybody needs to have a place to live and everybody needs to get along. Out here where i live now there’s a mixed races but mostly Mexicans even though we have different cultures and beliefs were all able to come together and have a great time.
Zoom In

Gangs-Rickia

I grew up in a time that gangs became our family and they saved my life. When family couldn’t do for me they did. My mom was on drugs when i was in my early 20s i had a son so i had to get out of it we Destruction peace in my neighborhood
Zoom In

Goods of Delray- Kene

I would just tell them it’s a good place versus west palm beach. The people are friendly. Wrong doing everywhere, but the larger the community, the more stable it is.
Zoom In

Love your moms

Moving out my mom house was important to me.Things can get hard around Boynton so I had to make a way. Even though I moved out my mom still had to help me.
Zoom In

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.
Zoom In

Get some action going in Pahokee, FL!

From experience coming from New York to here, you have more help up there. It’s harder to find resources down here. I was in a bad relationship last year that left me homeless. There are no shelters around here. Now I am better but at the time I had no where to go. I saw a guy walking out of an empty building and was wondering what he was doing in there. People were sleeping in empty buildings. I’ve had a lot of good experiences too. A lot of mission teams came and helped people fix up their houses and …
Zoom In

Protection-Rickia

See me i was the man of the house my father wasn’t there he was a coward and we are from boynton but we moved to the other side this was a little bit less than what i had expected and i would do things a man supposed to do in the house to make sure my mom and my sisters were ok and in around the 90s i started selling drugs i had my own house by this time but not to far from my mom and sisters. I remember her calling me late at night saying they were …
Zoom In

Resilience comes at a cost

Working with a single mother who had become homeless in a neighborhood that she was raised in to find resources was very difficult. She didn’t want to be judged, labeled, or marginalized. But living now in the same neighborhood she once thrived in, gave her a new perspective as she realized the severe resource scarcity she was facing with 2 young children. Her story made me realize that life can happen to anyone and anytime and having access to resources in your own neighborhood can truly make an impact in how you bounce back from a traumatic event in your …
Zoom In

The Tough Neighborhood

Growing up it was very tough it still is. There are people at the corner store everyday up to no good. There has been five shootings in the last month.Every-time there is a shooting no one knows anything. Almost every week there are kids fighting outside.
Zoom In

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 …
Zoom In

The man stealing

Growing up I was a Haitian immigrants. in my neighborhood was very rough I was talked about you a lot because my skin tone and how I spoke. one time I was walking anyway and a man was stealing from the store. The police Soon arrived and bodyslammed the man on the ground to simply handcuff him.this wasn’t the first time I seen your officer be extremely rude and rough with someone they were always extremely late and rude in my neighborhood.
Zoom In

Get it on my own – Devonte white

Important moment in my life is learning how to provide for myself. I used to depend on my parents to do everything. I had to get off my butt and go work for something
Zoom In

Give support when needed

I remember a school shooting happened. It didn’t happened my neighborhood. But the local high school in Boynton was supporting them. The had a moment of silence and was supporting the families.
Zoom In

Helping hand- Kene

One morning I got up and went running and as I was running I seen this person struggling to get stuff out the car, and so I had a feeling in my gut to help out so I ran towards the person and asked can I land a hand with those, and so the person let me helped and as soon as I was done helping , she rewarded me with a beverage and ever since that me and that person became good friends, it’s a very good thing to help people in the neighborhood no matter what it is.
Zoom In

Break in-Rickia

I remember one night returning home and my mom looked puzzled when I looked out the window I seen this someone was breaking into my dad’s truck my dad immediately got out of the car and begin to taste the person about the person got away and the police took
Zoom In

Bullied- Rickia

I was about 13 years old. I began to be bullied by the kids in my neighbor hood because my mom white and my father was black. What I didn’t know the was the my family was also being bullied too. I can still hear my father say to me “Son they talked about Jesus, the greatest man that walked the earth what makes you think they will not talk about you
Zoom In

The Life

Me and my family moved from down here from New Jersey and the people here in this neighborhood helped me build this house for me and my 4 kids
Zoom In

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 …
Zoom In

LOVE (Story #589)

IT A LOVELY COMMUNITY, THE PEOPLE HELP OUT ALOT. KIDS LOVE TO PLAY AND ENJOY THE TIME WITH DIFFERENT KIDS OUTSIDE THERE CULTURAL
Zoom In

Refresh the page to see another random set of stories or view the stories and micro-narratives in a list.