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Proud Parents of This Great Kid

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My mom called me to dinner. I swallowed thickly and emerged from my room, faintly practicing the lines I had prepared. It was the winter of 8th grade, and Christmas music was playing. Feeling light in my chair, as though I was going to fall out of it, I cleared my throat and told my […]

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The Best Form of Validation

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It was a typical winter Saturday in the 8th grade, and my family and I were walking home from dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. I was wearing an oversized gray knit sweater, a hand-me-down from my grandpa. I was obsessed with oversized clothing that hid any curves. I also always wore my hair in […]

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Caught in the Middle of an Ugly Divorce

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I was born and raised in East Harlem near 110th and Madison. Both my parents were well known on the block; for a time I felt like royalty. My mom told me stories about how my aunts and neighbors fought over who held me next. Hugs, kisses, and constantly being called papi chulo was the […]

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Falling in Love for the First Time

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My senior year started out amazing. I was on top of all my work, getting the best scores I could get, and making new friends. I was about to become the second person in my family to graduate high school. Adding to my excitement, I also met a girl who sat next to me in […]

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