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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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Anonymous

Bullying and Jealousy Made Me Into Someone I Didn’t Like

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Names have been changed.  Being bullied and losing a friend made me loud and obnoxious. By high school, when I realized what I had become, it was hard to change. It started in elementary school. In kindergarten I had a good friend, Sam, and we did everything together. But in 1st grade, we began learning […]

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When I Lived in a Shelter, I Still Kept My Head Held High

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Some names have been changed. In 2016, I felt like my world was collapsing. My two aunts died, and then my grandmother. This made me afraid that I’d lose my mother and twin brother, too, and be put in the foster care system. Then, in the midst of all that death, my mother, twin brother, […]

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Defunding the Police in Schools Can Help Support Essential Workers Like My Parents

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My mother is a Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) sanitation worker. She works from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, plus overtime late at night at least once a week. My father works even longer hours as a correctional officer at Rikers Island. Like many essential workers, they are risking their lives, yet their pay […]

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