“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.”

Let’s make a change

Growing up in palm beach was terrible my mother didn’t like it one bit ! Palm beach was all sorts of bars young teens having babies,gang bangers shooting every night , Palm beach was horrible even for the children.
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Helpful neighbors- Kene

About a month after moving into my house, it flooded. So at one point we lost our kitchen so our neighbors were nice and fortunate enough to bring us meals.
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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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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.
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Good community (Story #249)

An important moment in my life is when my mom died. Everyone in the community came together to help me and my family out. People actually are good around here for the most part.
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Accused for nothing

I was driving to the corner store and came across a police scene. I walk inside and asked what’s going on. The clerk says that it’s nothing they just came outta do nowhere and started bothering the folks outside. No violence or disruptions going on but they were being harassed.
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Tour de Oakmont

My son learned how to bike recently. They Tour de France was taking place, which motivated him to try once again. We live at the end of a cul de sac and I ran around with him, holding his bike seat, as he peddled and worked to find his balance. Without planning it, he took off down the street, unassisted with me running behind him. That afternoon, we probably covered close to three miles – he peddled and navigated the street to the main road and down to the park while I ran along side or way behind yelling for…
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We’re Doing Good

It’s nice living here, but the past… you don’t want to know. Now it’s nice. No break ins, no stealing… everyone gets along.
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Always stick with your family because family is going to be there for you

The most important moment in my life (I was born and raised in Belle Glade). I lost my mom in 96 by of Belle Glade, an my son and nephew lost to gun violence a few years ago. After all of that, I am still standing, I might stumble, God has carried me. He is always there. Hypertension and diabetes and heart problems went through my family, and God has been there for us. My mom lived 7 years with kidney failure with NO medication. She didn’t suffer when she died. We took care of her and my husband when…
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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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Robbery

I remember one night I heard a lot of movement outside but I shook it off. Ten o heard screaming so I went outside and saw my neighbors got robbed. It frighten me because it could’ve been my house.
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Growing up in boynton-Devonte white

I dont really have a important moment in life but i can tell you how it is growing up in my neighborhood. Things was pretty calm back in the days everyone was civilized.Now you got all these young people around here killing each other
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Moving

Growing up in my neighborhood i was the only white kid there but i tried so hard to fit in. I would just go with the flow of doing what the others did. I couldn’t play football at all and i couldn’t play basketball but that’s something everyone was great at but i was a great runner and when we raced everyone wanted to be on my team or wanted me to be on there’s and it made me feel great
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B-out day

B-out day, where there was a local football player who threw a event for the community there were bounce houses food and live music all across from the set
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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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Back then

Living in my neighborhood things have changed alot. I remember when it was ok to just sit outside your house,no u have to worry about these kids killing each other.
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Living in my community

Neighborhoods with poor quality housing, few resources, and unsafe conditions impose stress, which can lead to depression. The stress imposed by adverse neighborhoods increases depression above and beyond the effects of the individual’s own personal stressors, such as poverty and negative events within the family or work-place.
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My community is a a blessing

My community is a blessing and is so nice. When you are down, someone will help you up. I’ve lived here my whole life and my children want me to move to WPB or Wellington but I don’t want to. It’s so nice growing up here. My children came last week and took me out to eat for my birthday. My sister lives nearby and we see each other often.
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Don’t do what they do

Growing up in lake worth beach Florida was ok at first till group of kids thought they were man enough to handle things. Going out stealing cars , robing people, hitting people and other things
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The Care and Feed of Grandfathers.

Came here from Lantana and lived here since 1970. Ran service desks in Lantana, but business became difficult and would have to borrow money to keep it running. Didn’t want to do that. Had two small kids to support and be around. Came out here quite by accident. Called out to a mechanic job in the area he found in the newspaper. Discovered Pahokee when he came down, and decided to move the whole family here. When he came down here, someone helped him out to pay off his dying business. He was lucky. Started working here, and living in…
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Change for the better (Story #478)

2 shootings has happened that I know about his year in my community. That hurts me. Why is what I ask myself. Is this what the world is coming to?
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The crash- Rickia

At the age of 13 I was in a fatal car accident that caused me to be in a wheel chair. My community came together to support my mom because my Father died in the crash. I’m still alive here today and although it has changed my life, the love remain the same
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Be forgiven

Growing up in Delray Beach Fl I was always a problem child I brought disappointment to my mom and family than that made me realize that what I did shouldn’t be happening anymore , my mom told me. “Baby don’t do that no more “ that’s the day I smiled remember it like it was yesterday
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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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For no reason

I used to be a police back in my day. Things certainly have changed. I was walking outside of my house and seen police interrogating these young men. I did not like what I saw. There were not respectful and actually had no reason to be doing it.
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Living

Well I’m Greg light and growing up in my neighborhood was ok. I wasn’t rich but i wasn’t poor there was always food on the table and i always had clothes. there were people who had nothing and there were people who had more. Ofc there was fights and violence but that’s in every hood.
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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 .
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L I F E

In 2011, child poverty reached record high levels, with 16.7 million children living in food insecure households, about 35% more than 2007 levels. A 2013 UNICEF report ranked the U.S. as having the second highest relative child poverty rates in the developed world.According to a 2016 study by the Urban Institute, teenagers in low income communities are often forced to join gangs, save school lunches, sell drugs or exchange sexual favors because they cannot afford food.
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Hardworking Woman

Where I am living, people are okay. They talk to me. I am from Haiti, but I moved because of the situation in Haiti. Used to work in the field, cotton and plantain fields. It was hard. Went to medical assistant school and went to work with a doctor for 12 years. I drew blood, gave injections, and just did most things. He close later. And later I had a heart attack and had knee problems. Then, I stopped working. Hard not working. Go to church and pray. Live with sister.
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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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Yvvette Christine

In 1968, My community didn’t change from now many people is now facing problems they faced in 1968 .We each have different situations ourselves and want a better community for our children and peers .
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Buying a house- Devonte white

Important moment in my life was buying a house. I saved all my money and worked two jobs to get my own house. I did not want to live with my mom anymore
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Living in proverty

Most Americans will spend at least one year below the poverty line at some point between ages 25 and 75.Poverty rates are persistently higher in rural and inner city parts of the country as compared to suburban areas.Estimates of the number of Americans living in poverty are nuanced. One organization estimated that in 2015, 13.5% of Americans (43.1 million) lived in poverty
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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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Go get it (Story #219)

Important moment is when my friends started going to jail or getting killed. Around here it’s not that many options. You just have to find a way to go get what you want whether it’s good or bad.
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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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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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Growing up (Story #90)

Growing up in boynton beach times was hard. My family didn’t really have it but we made it happen. I played sports but all my friends was in the streets. I got in trouble when I was about 17 and that was the end of my career.
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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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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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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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My neighborhood-Rickia

I loved my neighborhood minus the violence it has the today the kids are different but there’s always a handful that comes and sit and talk to me. They are sweethearts. Then the others won’t even help themselves.
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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.
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Getting to Know Jupiter

I decided to move to Jupiter three years ago. I didn’t know much about it before but had so much to learn. So many people move to Jupiter and Palm Beach County from out of the state, I learned especially from the northeast. I sought to get to know the community, the good and the bad. I just wonder if the people moving down here do as well?
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New beginning- Kene

Well I’m originally from Columbia, came over when I was 8 years old, I didn’t know anybody, didn’t know English. It’s important to know English, and finding mindful resources. Also I’ve delivered toys to unfortunate families to give them toys. Gave homeless people clothes around winter to stay warm.
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