“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.”

America

Learning English was important to me .I had to learn and learn fast cause it’s a lot going on around boynton. I came to America when I was 17 and things was different.
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Friendly welcome to the neighborhood- Kene

When I moved into my house in my neighborhood, there were neighbors and friends of mine that already lived there that were sitting in my driveway waiting to help me unload my furniture. I didn’t ask for it, but they were just curtious enough to offer me assistance.
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Education (Story #217)

Graduating high school was a important moment. I was the first one in my family to graduate so I feel like that’s special. Where we come from not everyone cares about school.
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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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Community man-Rickia

I pride myself on being the ladies’ man. I love the attention I got from the neighborhood women but not the m
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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 remeber

Some people try to turn back their odometers not me I want people to know why I look this way . I’ve traveled a long way and many of the roads weren’t paved . First you forget the names than you forget the faces . Living in my neighborhood was a good thing for me met nice people
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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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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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Growing up (Story #361)

Growing up in the ghetto is rough. I managed to get out and I’m never going back, but the lessons I learned about human nature will stay with me forever
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Moslead

Well growing up in my neighborhood i had a sister and brother and my mother didn’t take care of me. Her mother did but there was a lot of that going on back then where mothers didn’t raise there children and i feel like that’s a major issues that’s why we have so many mislead children in the current generation
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Friends are supportive

I remember my mother died. She was a well known woman around the neighborhood. The day of her funeral there was atleast 200-250 people arrived. I was so shocked. This shows how supportive the people in Boynton are.
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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.
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Change for the better (Story #457)

An important moment in my life is when my son graduated. He used to always be in trouble and up to no good. By him graduated it shows that people can change and that Boynton is not all bad.
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“Mama always said”

Everything my mama warned me about came true. So listen to everything and speak on nothing. That was the most important thing because of what was going on and i saw my sister not listen to anything as i listened to everything and long story short my me and my sister now live two totally different lifestyles
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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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Met my soulmate

When I moved down here from North Carolina I was quite scared. My neighbor was very welcoming. She would always check on me and helped arrange my house. Now 10 years later were married with a child. Maybe I should’ve just moved down here way before then.
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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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Keep moving

originally from boynton beach since 1964 then recently moved to delray 2 years. All friends live in boynton .Since the late 90 killing increased . a lot more activities to do now. going to school was bad because of the people that attended . High school was seperated in two parts . First group of kids to go to congress middle school. Played tackle football in middle school. goes to work everyday plans on retiring no time soon. Hurricane andrew hut really bad . Found out about hurricant through radio. Hurricane lasted a couple of hours. Parents from florida. Full…
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Always listen

Many people may say. Things they don’t mean ! The community I growing up in was a community of violence if you have ever been told to stop doing things please stop when you are told always listen !
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Don’t do nothing

Growing up in boynton wasn’t always the best we didn’t have the school we wanted we was in and out of Trouble my brother and I Was Trouble makers
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A big difference

The city of lake worth isn’t how it was back than Mexicans were treated wrong, black people was As well people killing kids lake worth needs a big CHANGE!
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Difference in the city- Rickia Petty

Growing up out west of boynton made me looked at definitely than i would look if i was to live east i know this because i had family who lived further east and i notice when i went over. There was fights and everything on the east side also more African Americans when i came to my side there were more white people.
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My community (Story #383)

It is often said that efforts to fight poverty have failed. Surveys suggest only 5% of Americans think that anti-poverty programmes have had a big impact; 47% say they have had no impact or a negative one.
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Family is everything

I come from west of Delray where we worked the fields. I remember when I was young our neighborhood would have large dinners after church but you can’t do that anymore because parents these days don’t go to church and we wonder why it’s so much disrespect and killings. We forgot that the community is family and with out it everything is going to crumble.
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Thinking I’m somebody who I’m not

I remember I walked into the lock corner store and the clerk was staring at me the whole time. He was following me for no reason. I went to purchase my goods and looked surprised that I was going to pay. It’s a shame what people think of you.
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No help

When my son died I realized the community is out of control. Kids killing kids . Nobody really care anymore things getting hard .
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My neighborhood (Story #550)

An important moment in my life is when you aren’t feeling safe in your own neighborhood.you can see yourself being scared to come outside because of the killing and drugs people are doing in my neighborhood.people just watch as others use it and watch them ruin their life .
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My community (Story #423)

My neighborhood is filled with children,I see them having fun playing ball but I also see them fighting. They either arguing with their parents or just fighting with the other kids . long been clear that children from troubled neighborhoods have worse outcomes as adults. But it has been much harder to disentangle whether these neighborhoods cause the later disadvantage, or whether the hardships that lead families to bad neighborhoods are the problem.
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Make something out of it

Living around here isn’t really as bad as people make it seem. Yes there’s drugs and murders and bad things going on but if you are focused on a goal u should have a good outcome. Many people make it out the hood that’s why I push my kids to be something in life.
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Our future

I remember driving down over by galaxy elementary one night. I don’t know what was going on but I seen at least 100 teens outside and police cars. The police had dogs out and big guns. See teens these days for some reason are prone to getting into trouble. Hopefully nobody that night got hurt. But I want better for our future generation.
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La familia

Every Christmas is a good Christmas in Boynton. Later in the evening everybody in the neighborhood is dressed up and goes to the Hester center. The kids love going the get to show off what they got an have a good time. The good thing about this is nobody gets upset because if one person I the community got everybody does. We are a family.
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City of Boca- Kene

Before I retired, while working for the city of Boca Raton I accidentally got into a car accident with a very expensive Mercedes. I was worried about what happened, but when the cops showed up, they told me it was okay since I’m a city official, no charges will be given, or no expenses will be charged. I thank God for giving me this opportunity, or right now my living situation wouldn’t be the same today.
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Don’t judge

Well when I was going to lake worth high school it wasn’t a school for black kids it was on a segregated school Due to the people around us our community was dying no one liked the colored folks
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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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Wake up

Important moment is when me and my friends got older . When we was young we didn’t know what was going on. But we was aware of the things once we was teenagers. All the drug dealers and murders opened our eyes
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The city

Growing up in boynton there’s a lot of important moments. Things are not as good as they used to be around here.when I was younger I was shot 5 times on different occasions.
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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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Bright Futures

One 4th of July we had a family gathering at the park. We were having a great time with each other. My niece was playing in the play ground and started offering if others would want to join, strangers at that. This showed me that kids now a days are warm headed and caring. The future is bright.
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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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Don’t be that one

Time is something that she’ll not be wasted by anyone. I was always told that I wouldn’t be nothing in life by my siblings but. I took it to far when I was hanging with the gang bangers in my neighbor hood I went on licks Went to steal cars, did a robbery
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In my community

We came closest to integration in 1988, when nearly half of all African-American children attended majority white schools. Since then, districts have been casting off federal court orders like rusted shackles. The result, a Government Accountability Office report found in the spring of 2016, the number of African American and Hispanic students attending segregated schools is rapidly growing.
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Where’s the respect-Rickia

I remember back in the day we could never speak back to an adult when they said what they say that’s what it was now days you can’t say anything to these kids they always have something to say back. in my neighborhood the kids are very disrespectful they knock on your door and Run they play and throw rocks around people cars.
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Great Place

Overall the community is great great family oriented neighborhood where everyone knows each other.
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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
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Stand up

Well an important life in my neighborhood was when I first seen someone stand up to what was right and I followed right behind him. He wanted to stop being mistreated and stop being accused he was tired and we all are
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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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