“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.”

All is well

Growing up in my neighborhood wasn’t actually bad all the time., I mean things did happen but there was also some good things going on. I lived in a house with all my brothers and they always looked out for me.
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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.
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Leaving

Growing up in boynton was kinda tough. I had to get my family from around here .To many drugs and murders. Everyday I’m worried about my kids when they go outside ,and it shouldn’t be that way
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Don’t do the bad

Growing up outside the community I was staying out of trouble but once I went back to my old town I was in and out of trouble with friends
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Preparation

Going off to college, and meeting others from other neighborhood and making connections. My community prepared me for this.
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My community (Story #389)

In December 2017, the United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, undertook a two-week investigation on the effects of systemic poverty in the United States, and sharply condemned private wealth and public squalor
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Respect

Growing up i had moved down from Haiti and the part i lived in there was a lot of white people so not only was i kind of racial profiled i was also picked on and make fun of because of my accent so that pretty much sums up what it was like. I was in trouble a lot because i was the type to always want to defend my self. I had a couple friends that’s guided me through but i still wanted my respect.
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My Service Dog

I live in a pretty nice neighborhood there is not much of a story to tell I mean one time I lost my dog and I couldn’t find him for about three days I was very sad everybody knew who my dog was he was my service dog and as a group a few of my neighbors and the kids went searching for my dog and we ended up finding him and I’m just very thankful for how sweet and generous my neighbors are
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My child

Important moment in my life was having my first child . He changed my life in a way. With out him I would of been in the streets of boynton running wild
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Stay in school kids

Listen back when I was child I hated school but when my mom told me “boy you better love school don’t ever let me catch that come out your mouth again” I dropped out right after she told me I had tons of friends but school is important because you’ll need in life. , counting money , reading books and getting good jobs
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Helping earth other out

I grew up with my grandparents they was very old so they didn’t have much control of my brothers and I. We grew up not having much we had to work with what we got.
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Getty-Rickia

I can remember when I was about 12 my grandma had made food and invited everyone in our neighborhood to get some not only did they come get food they also brought more food that they had prepared at their house and it turned into a little Getty
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A Hard Life but a Good Ending (Story #47)

My parents were migrant workers and we lived in Okeechobee center Projects. Ive been out here 47 years but moved to NY in 1974. Then moved back t Belle Glade, then I met my husband and now Ive been here for 47 years now. I was a big family everyone showed love. Then my husband died 2016 and I moved into Quiet waters. I remember when there was no Wendy’s, McDonalds or anything here. Just a hospital and one lane road. Now there’s everything. I started work in corn field 1976 and in 1979 I started driving tractors, then my …
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Trouble kids

Important moment in my life was when I met my best friend . We been through everything together in this neighborhood from fights to jail. Not much to do around here but get in trouble.
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The Crawford Story

I grew up in Belle Glade, FL working in the corn fields with my father and mother. It was very hard and I did not get a chance to go to school that much because we were up back and forth on the road. We had a big family. We worked hard and sometimes we would go to New York in July. Growing up was good and we were always working.
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Live for today enjoy yours plans for tomorrow

I love to dance, I love art and I love my community. I am a retired reading teacher and a Sunday school teacher. I raised 6 kids and have been married for 36 years. I have lived in my community for around 39 years and would not move for anything.
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My community (Story #315)

Living in my community is when you see two people fighting and another person is just recording it or “hyping” it up .People in this community don’t see things until they know when to stop.people use phones to control their life instead of books .back than when slavery was still happening,they would try to run away to learn how to read .
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Things was simple

When I was little times were easy. Wasn’t much crime and this was claim. But these days these kids are around here killing each other.
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Bullys-Devonte white

Coming up i was a big bully and I realized i hurt many people. My peoples always told me to be kind to people but i never listened. Now my son is dealing with bullies at school
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Big world

Important moment in my life is when I got accepted into college. My main goal was to get away from boynton. My grandparents always told me to go out and see the world.
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The cop

One time I was driving home from work and a police officer pulled me over because he claimed my window tents were too dark. he asked me to step out the car and when I stepped out the car he roughly pulled me and put me in handcuffs. He later explained that he also thought my car was stolen.This happens very often were in from many cops racially profile people and miss treat them especially in my neighborhood I was probably the 30th incident.
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God bless

No mother should have to bury their child. The shooting that happened about a month ago in my area where I stay devastated a lot of people including me. I did not know the family but I supported them.
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My community (Story #553)

Living in a poor neighborhood can change everything , Among the younger generation, the same number of black children continued to grow up in the very poorest neighborhoodsNothing had changed.Many people live in a bad neighborhood to save money but many people live in bad neighborhoods because they don’t want to let go of the past yet
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Weekend yard work

I have lived in the same place on and off for most of my life with the same neighbor . Maybe about ten years ago sadly her husband past . Now am 42 with a son so what we do on weekends we cut her grass for her like he husband use to do .
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Good manners

I fought a lot as a kid. That’s just how it is when you grow up in the hood. I would have fought a lot more if it wasn’t for one simple phrase: “My bad”. For those of you that don’t speak hood, “My bad” is the equivalent of saying “I’m sorry.”
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Extra items- laroderick richardson

My neighborhood is normal we have parties the kids always playing. With each other a story is that a new person moved in and we had a party and invited him and he came and brought soda and cake and pizza we did not know he will bring all that stuff but he did
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Eric Armor

Many people are afraid to walk outside some are even afraid to walk their dog.but when you realize it’s your NEIGHBORHOOD you can control it yourself you can make it a better town than people who are afraid too.
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The Wrong Guy

I’m sure there are many stories like this one because of the ridiculous amount of police brutality incidents. I had let my grandson use my car to run a few errands. He soon return the car to me but while returning the car to me he got into a incident with a police officer right in my driveway. The police officer roughly grabbed my grandson out my car although i did tell the officer the car wasn’t stolen it was for me and I let him use it. He threw him on the ground and left him with a …
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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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Get it on your own

Getting my first job was a important moment in my life living around here . Nobody will give you anything , so I had to go get it. It made me a better person and now I live comfortably
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Value- Rickia petty

I grew up in a great neighborhood. I had a lot of family around me and we all stuck together. You would never have known we didn’t have a lot.
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Happiness- Kene

The birth of my daughter. She motivated me to change my life around to live for her sake.
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Caught on camera

One day my House was robbed. I realized my necklace was missing then later realized things in my closet were gone and disarranged. I looked at my camera footage and realized teens broke into my house while gone.
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The Field

Once my youth football team no field to play on. My coach tried everything to raise money and get one. He reached out to the Mayor. The mayor helped and got us one.
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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 …
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Another chance.

First came 5/9/2014 out of prison. (14 months) Difficult to find place to live because of past offenses. Matthew 25 ministries provided access to housing in sugar cane field. Started coming to United Methodist Church. Was surprised because people welcomed me. Difficult to find employment, but people let me into their lives and hired me for yard work. People in this community are different than any other community because they understand that people make mistakes. The Glades Initiative is helping turn my life around. People here accept us as who we are and extend friendship out. People understand that change …
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Be smarter

Something that was important in my life while I was growing up ? Let see well when I was in grade school I was always bad in school never really listened to the teachers I only did the things I did cause my friends was laughing and made them laugh I don’t know if I was a class clown or something that just made people laugh but when I always got out of school I used to see these group of man. And they had guns and drugs on them and I asked …
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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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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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Always forgive those who must be forgiven

Some times I think about the past how It used to be How people treated us cause I was coming up black people told me in lake worth that I wouldn’t be anything cause I was black cause I didn’t have any lack of knowledge , they said hurtful things that hurts till this day
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Life is the way it is

Well I don’t have much to share my neighborhood wasn’t all bad and good you can say people may have got shot may have got into fights I was always that girl that got into fights
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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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Don’t Hate us

“I had a dream “ I remember when I first heard Dr. king say that it was a peaceful moment everyone was happy sitting there , life was cruel for me coming up We were segregated from different schools we didn’t have Kids in schools that was out color
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a loving village

an important moment in the interviwees life was a time when she was home and there was a fire next door and the whole commu ity came togheter to help the victims rebuild and get back to where they were.
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