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Finding Peace Within Myself

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On the morning of Mother’s Day in 2023, I decided to buy roses for my grandmother. She had always been there for me, from taking me to school to watching me while my parents were busy working. She’d been sick for over a year. Still, through it all, she had overseen my family and me […]

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The Road to Acceptance at 16.5 

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It’s an early summer day in June, the last day of finals. There’s a funny sort of feeling, when school ends. You stare out the window in class, glimpsing the beautiful promise of the outdoors, inhaling that sweet smell of possibility.   After leaving on the last day, I was driving around with my older sister, […]

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Wrestling With Stereotypes

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As we shake hands, I can feel the pressure on me. Like a mantra I repeat: Strong grip. Stern expression. Show him you’re serious. The whistle blows, and my mind goes blank. It’s just me and my opponent. As Coach says, if my head is really in the game, I shouldn’t even be able to […]

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Book Review: Spilling the Greasy Beans on Demon Copperhead

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Barbara Kingsolver dedicates her novel Demon Copperhead to survivors of the opioid crisis and foster care. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the book is dedicated to someone like me: I am an Appalachian who was put in foster care due, in part, to my father’s opioid addiction.  Reading the novel, I felt […]

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