Real Stories


A Fresh Start - Javi's Story

  Being a stranger in a strange land is difficult. Your new home doesn't feel like home. Not yet. Everyone else speaks another language and when you find people who do speak like you, it's just a little different. Their inflections and references are new to you. Even small, inconsequential

Hard To Breathe - Tay-Ama's Story

Ghosts of scars haunt Tay-Ama Bosquet’s forearms and wrists – faint reminders from her life working in the local packing plant. "I was a packer. Packers pack crates. That’s 48 ears of corn,” she explained. “Field workers, they throw the corn at us and we pack it and push down the boxes. We make

Growing Tall. Growing Strong. Growing Up - Jubenson's Story

  In order to cultivate growth, one must invest and dedicate their time and energy. This is true for gardening. This is true for the stock market and this is especially true for a community. When you invest in the community, the community turns around and returns the favor. Nowhere is this

Family is Link To Our Past, Bridge To Our Future

  Ruthie is a lifelong and voracious reader and she hoped to instill this love of the written word in her three granddaughters. She had recently become their guardian and wanted to make sure they were getting all the academic advantages they could. Ruthie learned about BRIDGES from a

How To Make An American Quilt

  It starts with a thin strand of thread, a bolt of fabric and a tiny needle, no bigger than an inch. With these three simple things, changing the odds is possible. Making a blanket to keep a child warm, creating a flag to inspire a fledgling nation or in mentor Lorraine Petrozza’s case –

After The Darkest Hour Comes Dawn

The death of a loved one is a traumatic experience and grief manifests in a myriad of ways. Some people revert into themselves, withdrawing from the world at large; some people express their grief by further exploring their spirituality and some lash out at the world. Thirteen-year-old Deena

It Takes A Village

A peek into the average high schooler’s schedule is a peek into the eye of chaos. In addition to being enrolled in seven different courses each with their own assignments, exams and special projects, students also participate in after-school organizations or athletics; they volunteer or take

Limitless: Markos' Story

Every spring, scores of high school seniors come down with Senioritis – the fabled illness in which a senior can sense that graduation is just around the corner and therefore, start slacking on their academic progress. However, this isn’t always the case and sometimes, apathy and detachment

Close Your Eyes. Clear Your Heart. Let Go.

When Alejandra closed her eyes, it was like a horror movie stuck on repeat. She is eight-years-old. She is in her native Mexico. Gun shots ring out and her beloved father dies. Over twenty years later, she is still haunted by these events and this pain is manifesting in a myriad of ways

The Light That Guides You Home

Bravery comes in many forms. It can arise in the face of illness or on the battlefield.  Bravery can flicker in the darkness, illuminating the night or it can glint boldly in the sunlight. In Monica's case, bravery comes in the form of an indomitable spirit and the will to persevere against