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Moving Forward On My Own 

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When I was 6, my father took my two brothers and me to New York’s famous Far Rockaway beach. Humongous waves slammed on us, and we were fascinated by our first experience on American sand. I didn’t know how to swim, so I clung to the safety that the shallow water provided. Apparently not safe […]

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Adapting to Have a Better Future

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As an unaccompanied refugee minor, I’ve faced many challenges in pursuing my education, but the support of my foster families, agency, and friends has helped me along the way. For me, being a successful woman in the world means having a family of my own and working as a social worker or mental health counselor. […]

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With Help, I Made My Own Home 

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I first went into foster care when I was 12 years old because my mom abused and neglected me. (My father was mostly not around.) My last placement was at a residential treatment facility called Madonna Heights, where the other girls bullied me. Staff required me to wake up at 6 a.m. to do chores. […]

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The Price of a Soda

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It’s quiet in the house and my sister and I are sound asleep. There’s a blue tint coming in from the window; this morning light rests over our eyelids and slowly wakes us from our dreams. We share a bed, and when she starts moving around I begin gaining consciousness. Shortly after, the strong but […]

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