“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.”

Beatrice Elma

How the violence’s has increased, and the Judges live in a different world to us, plus wars are still ongoing just to please a few, very worried for our young people and grandchildren what lay’s ahead for them.Plus the lack of justices to those who have sex with children, that’s a no go zone for me.
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Love (Story #335)

When I returned from War I had a hard time adjusting. My father told our neighbor about how hard it was for me so he took among himself to give me a job which help me start my life over, he also gave other men in the town jobs as well. I still thank him til this day because if it wasn’t for the love he had I would have lost my mind and I never would have married his daughter and took over the family business.
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Haiti Family

I grew up projects in belle glade the neighborhood was very nice. They will help out anytime if you need it, friends will help the best way they can. And what I love most about belle glade is they would cook food for anyone that is starving. My part of town in belle glade was very helpful its like having a family.
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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 what they do but they never answered…
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It’s not what it seems.

Others assume that it is bad, but its not what it seems. It’s rich in tradition, there is a lot of love. Don’t let the violence, create a image for you. Come here and see the love.
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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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My legacy- Rickia

I raised 6 boys into men and 4 girls into women. I currently have 22 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren. I raised them off a salary of being a gardener during a time when it was very difficult to be anything. I now have Doctors , Lawyers and Business Owners
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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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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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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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Rehab-Devonte white

Getting off drugs changed my life. I was on drugs bad and i had to realize who i was. I went to rehab to get my life together and things been good ever sense.
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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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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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The House Fire

In my neighborhood we view each other as a big family. I remember when my close friend that also lives in my neighborhood house caught on fire. The church and community as a whole decide to help her and her whole family get back on their feet.
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Delray Beach- Kene

I honestly feel this community is doing well. It’s gotten safer for the kids, way more opportunities have rised, and more jobs are becoming available. The setup is very clean and organized, government officials are doing their jobs, etc
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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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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.
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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.
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Love at first sight

Im Native American and I was in college when i met my husband. I was at lunch eating my food and some football players came and tried to take my food then my husband i did not know was going to be my husband came and defended me.
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Change (Story #334)

When I first moved here years and years ago I was robbed by one of the teenagers. I didn’t know many people but when I saw his face I remembered him. I spoke to his parents about it and they made him apologize and repay me. I forgave the young man and he became like a son to me
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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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Humor saves lives-Rickia

When I was a teenager, I was the smallest kid in my neighborhood. I got beat up, pushed around and joked on all the time until I learned how to tell jokes and make everyone laugh.
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Giving back to the community- Kene

In my community right now in boynton, I’m a deacon at church of God in boynton, we try to help the community in any way we can, bring people closer to Christ. We have street services around the community to try to strengthen their connection with God. I try to be as helpful as I can cause not everyone is as fortunate.
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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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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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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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Sad but happy days

I remember there was an incident of a boy getting shot by my house. The whole city was not so much shocked because we know how it is nowadays. But the thing is everybody in the community was there for the parents and family like we all were family.
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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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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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The community I live in

Together, our analyses can offer a portrait of who is poor and why, and explore the public policy implications; we can lift up voices and lives that are normally ignored or caricaturized by the media; we can include people living on the brink in high-profile events that explore poverty and in our advocacy efforts.
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Working for my future.

Watching my parents work so hard to provide us with the most they could. Unfortunately we did not have a lot like others. My parents didn’t make enough income to provide us with our wants, but we were just thankful that my parents were able to provide us with a home, food and clothing. For school I remember being bullied because I wore a lot of hand me downs and not being vocal or tough. Also, we did not have transportation for school so I would walk and get to school sweaty. Yes, we struggled but our parents taught us…
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Basketball

Basketball really save my life. If I wasn’t at the basketball courts I would of been selling drugs.Not that many options around here.
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My Missing Sister

Well the neighborhood I lived in was kind of small and my little sister who has special needs went missing only for a few hours. She was gone for about 3-4 hours she was 13 at the time. I went around my entire neighborhood looking for my sister with my mother. After, knocking door to door about 10 members of my community decide to help me and my mom search for my sister. One of the neighbors that was helping us search for her found here at a near by park.
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Do better

My neighborhood hood was terrible and we loved quick when we realized someone died every week. We didn’t like it and wasn’t what we were used to i was scared to sleep there.
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Haiti

I came a long way from being born a poor country and coming to America to live a better 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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Change (Story #42)

Growing up where I came from their were gangs bangers , drug dealers Listen ima talk about things that can change in the future
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City of Delray

Well growing up in Delray isn’t the same how it is today less violence how it was back in my day 1960 street gangs , killings , drug debate
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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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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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20 years teaching in the glades

Growing up for an interview at P.H.S to be a teacher I had to compete with another teacher and a number of the people in the interview become very good friends and I Romberg the teachers at the cool try to adapt to the school to become a teacher. And I am bless that I been able to teach multiple teachers in the classes. By the time I was retire I was teaching the children and grandchildren of the student I taught
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Nurse -Devonte white

Important moment in my life was going through nursing school. I always wanted to be a nurse and i made it into reality
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My community (Story #390)

There were about 643,000 sheltered and unsheltered homeless people nationwide in January 2009. Almost two-thirds stayed in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program and the other third were living on the street, in an abandoned building, or another place not meant for human habitation.
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