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2018-2019

maddie

"In one season of club all my dreams came true"

After my high school season ended I made the choice to join a club team. I became our starting shortstop. I was batting a .447 and fielding a .927. I had a great season and it didn’t go unnoticed. Three colleges were interested in me. I visited each campus: I went to Colby, Garden City, and Lamar. In one season of club all my dreams came true, my hard work paid off. I weighed out all my options and offers to each school. I looked at their softball programs, the coaches, class sizes, and what college offered my major. After about two weeks I had made my decision. I called the coach from Colby and accepted his offer. I had accomplished my dream of playing college ball and I did it all on my own. I worked hard and achieved my goal. I am committed to play softball at Colby Community College of club all my dreams came true.

 

apple

"it teaches you how to improvise and toughens you"

Dad, besides Ashley and me, what is something that changed your life for the better?” That’s a tough one, uh, probably breaking so many bones. “Really?” Yeah man, people think that broken bones heal and that life is back to normal and hunky-dory and it’s really not that simple. When you break a bone it teaches you how to improvise and tough ens you up for the most part. “What all bones have you broken and when?” In order would have to be: left leg and nose in HS rodeo, left finger and four ribs in HS football, right leg in the oil field when a drill stem fell on me. Last two were my ankle and toe from falling of the roof when your Mother wanted these stupid arse Christmas lights up. When you grow up and your women tells you to put the lights on the roof, don’t. “That’s all of them?” No those were just the ones that weren’t too terrible. “It gets worse?” Oh yeah, I broke my jaw in the Army and they wired it shut for about six weeks and I had to sip jello through a straw. The worst one though was when I broke my back in the Army when I was 22. 3rd and 7th vertebrae were the pieces that broke, after the feeling returned to my legs, I had to learn how to walk again. Something that everyone takes for granted on a daily basis I had taken away from me, learning how to be thankful for what you have is God’s greatest gift. “Is that what you’re most proud of, walking again I mean? It was a proud moment for myself yeah but, nothing could compare to how proud I am of you and Apples (my sister).

 

far

"Ethnicity wise, I’m Somali but I didn’t feel like it"

July 1, 1960 Somali Independence day. In Somalia there was a giant celebration, but living in a small town, Fort Morgan, all we could do is watch it on our TV. I woke up on a sunny summer day hearing,“Somaliyeey Tosso, Tosso isku tiirsada ee, hadba kiina taagdaranee.” My mother was dancing and singing to her national anthem. I realized how much this meant to my mother. It’s been nearly a decade since she’s seen her home, yet she felt close to it while celebrating. I couldn’t understand my mother’s emotions. I wasn’t raised as a Somali, I was raised as a typical American. Ethnicity wise, I’m Somali but I didn’t feel like it. Who Feeling this way made me embarrassed. At that moment I didn’t want to feel like an outsider. I wanted to be my culture.

 

grant

"something I’m passionate about, it seems like it always becomes a race"

Don’t Skip the Little Things Below freezing temps, wet clothes, my body frozen to a ladder trying to fix my own mistake. It was a rough start to my ChristmasBreak and most definitely a Monday. It all started with my replacing a pump in one of our family’s car washes, which was supposed to be an easy half an hour fix for me and the crew. But seemingly I forgot one step that caused the next 36 hours to be utter hell, freezing hell that is. This was all the outcome of my forgetting to turn back on the water weep system to keeps the pipes thawed out. When it comes to something I’m passionate about, it seems like it always becomes a race for me to get the project done before anyone can help out. Usually when this trait of mine comes out, I produce some of my best work. For some reason this time it just didn’t turn out that way.

 

ali

"Being thrown into our culture has made him into an introvert"

The most common name in the world is Muhumed. One name with millions of stories from all around the globe. In our school he, is a friendly face in a crowd of over nine hundred. At first glance, he looks like the average high school student getting through his life day by day. There is a twist to his story, however. he is not originally from Fort Morgan, or even America. Originally from Ethiopia, he has had to integrate his lifestyle and culture into ours. Ali has lived here for a little over 3 years now. For him it seems like it’s a lifetime. He has plans for heading off to a college in Minnesota to study engineering, and also will bring him ever so closer to those he loves. His biggest challenge is that he is overcome by his instinctive shyness. He has a habit of migrating to the back of class and rarely answering optional questions. It was not always this way for him though. With his childhood friends he “would go to movies and run around all day.” Being thrown into our culture has made him into an introvert. Now his friends are usually from another country and looking to live a better life here. He grew up on the Somalian side of Ethiopia, and he speaks the same language and has the same culture making it exponentially easier to connect with the Somalian population here. Ali works on integrating more all the time. Growing more open by the day Ali, will soon become a promising adult whilst fulfilling his personal charisma and passion for engineering.

 

life

“I traveled while pregnant to go to Nairobi and seek help”

The Somali War started in the 1990s. She watched her parents die and those around her. She knew a child shouldn’t be born in a war zone and shouldn’t live through it. “I knew I had to leave. Leave everything so that my child wouldn’t know the struggle and fighting we had to go through.” In a neighboring country, the UN created a camp, a camp that citizens from any country in Africa can live peacefully and look for asylum in foreign countries. “I traveled while pregnant to go to Nairobi and seek help.” The UN camp had more than a thousand refugees yet several were rejected each day by the rigorous vetting process. “ I had a shop, friends, and lived happily. After I gave birth I started the vetting process.” It was the happiest moment when saw the airplane that was taking her to her freedom. “It was very, very hard. The language and people.” She decided to move to a small town and start a new life. “I move here, I got a job and took English classes. I felt welcomed so I decided to live here forever. I made the right decision.” The astonishing story is one of the thousands of stories of refugees. She’s not only a mother, daughter, and sister, she’s also a survivor.

 

app

"Frozen well under six inches of fresh snow"

I strapped up and descended down the bowl, feeling a surge of confidence combined with adrenaline coursing through my veins, and all I could think about was taking off to bomb the run. Acting upon my thoughts I took off down the peak, gliding down the mountain. A twinge of fear traced my thoughts as I realized the inevitable fate I was soon to encounter. Speed wobbles superseded soon after the dismount due to the abundance of loose pow on the surface Three things followed in quick succession. Bright, dark, frigid, bright, dark, frozen, bright, dark . . . dark. Face down, face up, over and over again till I came to a stop. Frozen well under six inches of fresh snow. This could have easily been my last moment on this beautiful Earth, to be quite honest it would’ve been one hell of a way to go living the dream.

app

"We walked 436 miles from Eritrea to Ethiopia"

I am from Eritrea. When I was ten months old, my dad left our family because the government forced him to be a soldier and the government didn’t let him visit his family. The people hate the president because he arrests people for no reason. Seven years passed and we didn’t have contact with my dad. We didn’t know if he was alive or dead. One day someone stole my mom’s gold. After eight months someone burned our house and we lost everything we had and were left with nothing. After our house burned, we had nowhere to go so we had to live with our neighbor. One day my dad called our neighbor. We couldn’t believe it was him; we thought he was dead. My mom started crying because she was happy. We asked where he was and he told us he escaped from the army that arrested him five years ago. He told us to come to the USA. We walked 436 miles from Eritrea to Ethiopia and we stayed there for a year and then flew to Colorado. Now I live in Fort Morgan and it’s been two years since I came here. When I first came here I didn’t speak English because it was hard but now I speak English.

dai

"I want to fulfill my dream of finding a good career"

 

I’m from Mexico. I arrived here in 2018, and I’ve been studying at Fort Morgan High School for seven months. It is very difficult to come to a new country and a new school that speaks a different language. It was difficult to leave my grandparents and uncles in Mexico. I miss them a lot. I’m not sure what career I will have in the future, but I want to continue my studies in college and learn more English. I have thought about being an accountant. The reason I wanted to live here is because of my father’s work. My father has never been with our family because of his work, and it is the first time I have lived with him. For many other reasons, I want to fulfill my dream of finding a good career in the United States. I would like to go to a good school and have good grades, so I can show my parents that it was worth bringing me here.

far

 

"someone judges you by how you look, act, or speak"

He was born in Somalia. He has twelve siblings, and one younger sister who died. He didn’t grow up with most of his siblings. He got to the United States through the UNHCR, a refuge agency that helps people to immigrate to other countries. He moved here in 2006, arriving in JFK, an airport in New York. He started school at Pioneer Elementary and feels welcome in Fort Morgan. Today he is a senior working for a nonprofit comp in the language of Somalia. He likes the job because it gives him freedom in the way he gets to connect with people, and the community. If he could have any career, he would be a businessman and create jobs in his home country. He wants to give back to the communities. One day he would like to see the world, but he will most likely settle here in the United States. The happiest thing in his life was seeing his grandmother. It was in 2015 when she was sick in the hospital. When he saw her, he realized that she was beautiful. What made him what he is right now is the sorrows and troubles that his parents went through in order for him to be here to have the opportunity to receive an education. The most influential person in his life is his dad. He raised him for one and for two he taught him everything he knows right now. His favorite food is sambus. It’s a triangle thing kind of looks like a burrito. It has either goat meat or camel meat it also can be made with potatoes and it also has some species. It’s something he grew up eating and it’s from Somalia. Farah doesn’t like it when someone judges you by how you look, act, or speak. One day he will try to make a difference throughout his life about that situation. If he could change anything in his life, it would be not to have had to leave his country. He likes it in America, but he would be more connected more to people back in his home country. However, right now he feels more American than anything else. He agreed to do this interview because he wants to show people the person he is. He is just like they are and he is going through hard things just like everybody else.

in

“Sports have and will always be a big part of my life”

 

He was born July 16th, 1991. As the youngest of three, and the son to loving parents, family has always been a very valuable thing to him. As a child, he was active in sports. Sports have always been a huge part of his life, playing baseball and football all the way through high school. He even holds the school record for receiving yards in football. He is proud of his achievements like receiving All Conference for football and baseball, and also receiving Second Team All State for football. “I graduated and went on to play baseball for Oklahoma Wesleyan University, two years later, after playing the sport that I love so dear, I received some news that my girlfriend at the time was gonna be having a child.” Upon hearing this, he decided that he was going to leave this school and go to a Lineman school in Colorado Springs. “Sports have and will always be a big part of my life.” Now that he can’t play college sports anymore, he plays in a softball league, coaches his son in wrestling and baseball and is also a coach for the Fort Morgan High School football team. Even with his love of sports, Ian will always put his family before it all.

in

"a child was knocked out and needed medical attention"

 

One day at work, a family came in to play some golf. The parents sent the kids to the driving range while they went to play holes. While I was driving around, the kids waved me down for help. I went over and a saw that a child was knocked out and a needed medical attention. The other kids said that he had been hit in the head. So I picked him up and took him to my car. From the golf course, I took the kid to the hospital. The parents showed up a bit later, and from there they thanked me. I went back to work. This experience has changed my life and has shown me that anything can happen at any point in time.

in

"good in each culture"

 

This is the story of Señora, my Spanish maestra. One of her passions is cumbia dancing. In a dance club near the Mexico-Texas border, Señora met her husband. She fell in love and one thing led to another. I got married. We eloped on the Texas side of the border. I called my mom to tell her, “Guess what I did today?” Her marriage brought her into the United States. A teacher in Mexico, señora transferred her transcripts to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and CU-Boulder. While the paperwork was being processed, Señora worked as a translator in FM schools. During this time she improved her English and learned how education is taught in America compared to Mexico. As a teacher, I now understand parents involvement in their children’s education, but as a Mexican mother it was hard for me to understand. Señora believes Mexican parents don’t get involved as much in their children’s education because they trust the professionals to do their job. In her four years teaching Spanish at FMHS, her love for the richness of the Mexican culture has inspired her students. Her journey from Coahuila, Mexico is one of hopeful perseverance in dedication to her family and career. Every culture has something to add. The U.S. is a country that has lots of cultures. We can do so much if we see the good in each culture.

in

"the only consistent thing she had going for her was her art"

 

From constantly moving and changing schools between Nebraska, Kansas, Indiana, and finally to Colorado, she found the only consistent thing she had going for her was her art. In July of 2018 she became the youngest tattoo and piercing apprentice at Americana Custom Tattoo Parlor. The owner of Americana, was so impressed with her work that he agreed to giving her the apprentice job. For two months he had her practice tattooing on grapefruit peels so that she would be ready for skin soon. Finally he decided she was ready to give him a tattoo, she did her first tattoo, a small scroll, on September 12th. Another two months later she did another tattoo on him again, the following day she did her first real tattoo on me, her best friend of eight years. Her plan when she’s done with her apprenticeship is to eventually move to New York and become a full time tattoo and piercing artist. With the love and support of all of her friends and family, she knows she has the capability to become successful.

in

"Being held responsible for mysef is an eye opening proccess"

My parents became parents at fifteen. They’ve always worked so hard to provide for us, they didn’t have time to get an education themselves. My dad taught us that nothing’s going to be handed to us in life. There wasn’t a time I expected anything from anyone because I could do anything myself. Growing up in a generation of idolizing materialistic clothing and items was hard. All my friends had new cars and expensive clothing. Knowing they didn’t do a thing but be born into the right family made me furious. Countless times I’ve been enraged at my parents for making me pay for myself, furious that I missed sporting events and family gatherings because my priority is always work. But I’m proud that everything I have is mine, nobody can take that away from me or use it against me. Being held responsible for myself is an eye opening process that I’m still currently trying to figure out. I thank my parents, regardless of how many times I’ve been angry with them, for making me responsible for my own money. I already have experience with managing money and holding a job, and that alone makes me want to push forward.

 

far

"Little by little my life changed when I was here because I did not have to work like I did in Guatemala"

I was born in Guatemala. When I was in Guatemala I went to school for six years. I worked in agriculture. I planted corn, potatoes, and grain for the animals. I helped my dad drive cars and trucks because we had a lumber business selling wood to people in the city. Then I arrived to the United States. I started to study grade eight and I started to like playing the guitar. Little by little my life changed when I was here because I did not have to work like I did in Guatemala. I started learning English and making new friends. I have enjoyed learning in high school and I want to continue my studying in college to become a mechanic.

 

far

"In Ukraine it’s so much harder"

His early life In Ukraine I didn’t really have a dad so my mom in Ukraine would work all day, and she would come home late and we wouldn’t like really spend time together. When I was adopted from the orphanage, I was shown what family is and how to spend time with each other and how o enjoy each other’s company and help each other. When I moved here, it changed my life forever because you have so many more opportunities. The war in Ukraine has had 10,000 casualties and 1.6 million internally displaced people and the front line is 280 mile long. In Ukraine it’s so much harder. You could get wifi but it’s really expensive and that’s why in Ukraine I didn’t know much about the outside world. He plays soccer and has one younger brother born in Ukraine who is related by blood, and two stepbrothers and two stepsisters. My stepdad is the most influential person cuz my stepdad takes care of me, teaches me how to work hard, and to be smart. I didn’t speak English when I came here so I learned it in two years. I want to share the example of my life so that people like me don’t feel alone. If they need help, they can contact me or I can contact them.

 

far

"Dealing with my mom’s illness has taught me a lot"

Everyone has stepping stones in their life, and one of the biggest ones for me was when my mom became ill. Severe arthritis, cirrosis of the liver, and autoimmune disease were the cards she was dealt. Life spiraled downward, and I knew I had to help out my parents in some way. Getting a job was the only option. Knowing that my dad couldn’t afford to pay everything by himself for much longer, I got the job and realized how much I could grow up in such a short period of time. Dealing with my mom’s illness has taught me a lot about who I am, and it has taught me how to work hard with everything I do. Everything happens for a reason.

 

grt

"never completed her dream due to us boys being born"

“I’ve always been fond of teaching thanks to my aunt.” She grew up in a close family of farmers, and bakers… But the one that inspired her the most was her Aunt. “When I was a little girl, I fell in love with teaching and would play school with my cousins.” My mom, never completed her dream due to us boys being born and her wanting to spend time with us and watch us grow. She finally completed her her schooling in May of 2009 and became a first year teacher in Brush teaching Kindergarten. “I was nervous to be at work with you boys still in school. My heart was split. After the first month though you guys made it easy for me to go to work because you became more responsible.” She has been teaching for nine years and I’ve never heard her complain in all those years she loves it so much. “I’ve never dreamed of teaching in my aunt’s room but this year that dream came true and it’s all thanks to my sons and husband for encouraging me to keep going even through the first years of teaching with me frantically working to complete my dream.” Now she teaches 1st grade in the same classroom her Aunt taught in at Green Acres.

 
hu

"I couldn’t communicate with people and tell them what I needed"

 

I moved from Somalia to in Arizona in 2016. I love my Somalia more than anything and I didn’t want to leave. It was difficult to leave without knowing where we were going to live. Because of the war in Somalia, our family needed a safer place to live. After I came to Arizona, it was hard for me to understand and learn the English language. Then I moved to Fort Morgan with my family and I enrolled in high school. When I started school, I had a lot of teachers who motivated me and gave me a lot of hard work, so I could learn the language. To learn English faster, I read a lot of books and I spoke to native English speakers. This time was difficult for me, because learning English made me frustrated, and I couldn’t communicate with people and tell them what I needed. I didn’t have a way to make friends, but after overcoming the language barrier, my dream is to go to college and one day go back to Somalia to help the people in my community Today I am living a dream. I learned a lot of things like if you keep working to get what you want, you can be anyone you want to be.

cry

"I saw children die from hunger with no water or parents"

I’m from Africa: my ancestors are from Congo and South Sudan. I will be talking about a story that happened in my life that made me who I am today. When I was a little girl in Sudan there was a war and I had to watch people die. I saw children die from hunger with no water or parents. It was up to my parents to I get us food and make sure we weren’t one of those kids on the ground dying. They were young parents with no money or grandparents to help them raise us while we were in Africa. While in the war in Sudan, my dad was injured on his left leg, but he didn’t tell my mom because he didn’t want her worrying about him. The doctors couldn’t do anything but to tell him to stay off his legs. Since we were so young, he had to go and get food and water and could not rest. After a month, he died because his injury was so bad. Then we saw those big and white camp signs, and on them it said “Refugee Camp.” We stayed there for three years, just waiting on somebody to call our name to leave and go to America. When we were there we nearly knew everybody because we stayed there for so long. We just lost hope about going to America, One day the name of my mom’s close friend was called. She was so happy she was about to leave but at the same time she was sad because she had to leave my mom behind. The next day came and our name got called. My mom was so emotional and we were all crying from that (happy tears). I don’t know how long we were in the airplane but it was long. We got off the airplane to my grandma crying and running up to us giving us hugs. People walking by recorded us.

 
jan

"adopted into a wonderful family no matter how much they drive me crazy"

She lived a pretty normal life until she was fourteen when her mother left and she was bounced around from relative to relative, eventually being kicked out of her home. Her life today, though, is so much different from what she imagined when she was a teenager. She dreamed of having a career in forensic psychology working as a profiler“much like they do on Criminal Minds.” By twenty-five, she wanted to own a home, be married, and have at least two children. At almost thirty, she is working towards her Elementary Education degree with a special education endorsement. She is married and has one son and is working towards owning a house. “Family is very important to me,” she states. Even though she isn’t close to her biological family, she adds that “I have been adopted into a wonderful family no matter how much they drive me crazy.” After being asked who is the most important person in her life, she voiced that it is her husband. “It’s thanks to this wonderful man I am alive, have a wonderful son, a wonderful family, and am working towards a career I love.” She has led an absolutely interesting life, and thanks to a remarkable support system, she is here today to be able to tell her story

 
jay 

"I learned, I believed, I achieved"

Senior year. Already. Here I am, so close to getting that high school diploma. Sacrificing. Going to home football games. Competing in cross country races. Knowing that not everyone wants the best for me, and that’s okay. Experiencing the true definition of hard work, character, and determination. Remembering the millions of dance practices. My time at Fort Morgan High School is almost up. Now it’s time for me to leap into my future. My ultimate goal will happen in seven years when I earn a doctorate degree in Criminal Forensic Psychology. I will get there. Once a Mustang, always a Mustang. These have been some great years, but they do not compare to what is coming. I learned, I believed, I achieved, and yet there’s so much left to be explored. I will accomplish the ultimate goal. Watch me soar.

 

"we took a thirty-two hour bus ride to the US"

I was born in Guanajuato, Mexico with one sister and two brothers. Living in a small town was hard, dry and work was scarce. The town I lived in was hectic with fights and other crazy things going on. Everything as simple as buying a car was difficult due to the fact that many thefts were on the streets. We lived in a big house and had a dog. My parents were strict towards having good grades, and surrounding myself with the right friends. During school, I loved to play the trumpet and go outside and play soccer. Back home l had many friends and loved to make fun memories. My dad lived in the US and worked at a gas plant for fifteen years before we came to the US. Every month he sent money for us to have the best life in Mexico. I left half way through sixth grade and moved in with my dad. After we got everything rounded up, we took a thirty-two hour bus ride to the US. We brought nothing, just a backpack with a couple days worth of clothes. When we got here we went outside and played in the yard just like back home. First we had many challenges, like not being able to shop, or to read street signs, and not having anyone around town. I missed my friends, family, and the great food back home. When we started to attend school and learn a whole new culture, English was hard. The first month I pushed myself away, due to not knowing any English. After lunch, we went to another school and few other kids and I, we sat down and all tried to learn English on Rosetta Stone. My mom had a hard time watching us struggle to adapt to life in the U.S., but a month later I knew enough English to finally feel comfortable to make friends. After I learned the culture and language, I felt at home and started to enjoy my new life in a new country. Now I have a job, great friends, a close family, and a better life. As I get older, my dream is to be an architect. I am Jesus and that is my immigration story.

 

"finding what you love and unapologetically pursuing it "

Summer before sophomore year I attended an elite volleyball camp in which I could show off my skills although I was so young and I could experience what playing and staying on a college campus felt like. After only a couple days I became weary of the tribulations throughout and finally came to the conclusion that I didn’t wish to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a collegiate volleyball star and proceeded to quit finding every sport I participated in shortly after. After trying and failing at freelancing, I discovered what I am proud to represent and pursue–musical theatre. Looking back I realize that although I excelled greatly and somewhat enjoyed being an athlete, finding what you love and unapologetically pursuing it is something worth infinitely more than words can convey.

 

"I was blessed with my daughter"

I had everything planned out. I was going to college to be a professional business woman and become successful, driving a Porsche by the time I was thirty. Then life took a turn. After sailing through high school, I enrolled in college and shortly after my eighteenth birthday…became pregnant. My boyfriend at the time begged me to abort it but I refused and was later blessed with my first daughter. The marriage was rushed and we later divorced but we were blessed with my daughter. I built a beautiful, unbreakable bond through the triumphs and downfalls of raising a child at such a young age. More often than not we were broke and struggling to make ends meet. My second marriage was a rollercoaster of emotional abuse and constant arguing–it ended with him walking out and leaving my daughter and I with twelve cents, questioning how the hell we were going to make it. But after all of the toils I would never take it back because I was blessed with my daughter. Now I am over fifty years old and have graduated from college, blessed with two more children and a husband who has been nothing but a blessing to me. Life comes in moments, so no matter how long it takes never give up on yourself.

"I’m from the seed of love and hate"

I am from Samsung washers and dryers, from Tide and Shout! I am from mud puddles, and poop scooping in the backyard. I am from climbing trees: the Blue Spruce and the thick branches of a Plains Cottonwood. I’m from the I am from sugar cookies and contact lenses, from Savannah and Alex. I’m from the media-addicted and liberal believers, from anxiety and depression. I’m from Salvation of Mankind, to the repetition of tragedies, and the distraction of 6-second videos. I’m from the seed of love and hate, from mashed potatoes and energy drinks. From the socks I’ve lost in the dryer, and the trust parents lost after lies. Under my roof there is evidence of love and of loss, of achievement and of regret. I am from mistakes– grown up before my time– a wolf in a herd of sheep.

 

"I’m a walking graveyard"

Here’s the truth about life
Those trees outside are going to die
The snow will melt away
And someday I’ll never see you again
Nothing stays, it’s rare when it does
Can’t you see how many people have left
There are empty seats in my heart
Seats of those who once belonged
I gave them the time they needed
And one day they decided to not show up
They left with no warning
I remember every moment we shared
I’m a walking graveyard
With dates on my heart
If you look inside you’ll find it all
Each date and name
Of those who have left
Of those who couldn’t stay
My heart morns them at midnight
I only look at pictures
Because that is all I have left
They were here today and gone tomorrow
I carry them with me as a reminder
That it is only me that stays.

 

"I arrived at border and immigration got me"

Country of Origin: El Salvador
Time in the U.S: Five years
Early life “I came to America with a Coyote (someone who smuggles people). I passed through Guatemala with a group of other immigrants, spent fifteen days in hotels, then went on to Mexico. I arrived at border and immigration got me and let me go. I was sent to Houston and then we were sent to Miami in a refugee type of thing and just stayed there until we were let go, and I was able to join my parents. I had been living alone with my aunt in Salvador, but I had my father’s financial support. Earlier I lived with my grandpa, but he was at an old age. The saddest experience I had was leaving my grandparents in El Salvador because I was used to living with them. I did miss my home when I first got here, because I wasn’t use to the culture. I wanted to be in the US with my dad, since most of my family was here. Arrival School here is different because here everything is on computer. In El Salvador it’s all on paper. It was hard for me because English was a new language that I didn’t know. It took me two to three years to learn to speak. Today Since then, I’ve had a couple of jobs. I used to work in the dairy and then the oil field. The worst job I’ve had so far is McDonald’s. I just don’t like it. My favorite food from home is pupusas. Many people that go through the same experience that Samuel Campos had but that’s what makes them them and gives them motivation to work for what they want and have.

 

"The IED ruined your fine fighting day"

One day you’re suiting up
Just like any other day
Laughing with your brothers
Going to fight another day
You see the man lying in the sand
The string shining in the sand BOOM!!!
Your world has been rocked
The IED ruined your fine fighting day
You leave your brothers behind
They still have to fight
While you are on your way
Heading to Saudi Arabia
For your hospital stay M
eanwhile 7,663 miles away
Your family gets a call
You have been hit by that IED
No more information
Your Mom is crying softly
Your brother standing by
Ready to enlist in the blink
The IED ruined your fine fighting day of an eye
Not only has your life changed
Your families lives were changed 7,663 miles away
Little information on the Poem: this Poem is about my brother, he was a combat engineer in the Marines. While deployed in Afghanistan he was hit by an IED and flown to Saudi Arabia .

 

"I want to be the healing hand some children do not get"

Experiencing the death of my young brother made me realize I want to help people in my chosen career, specifically children. I want to be the reason children stay on the developmental path they need to live a healthy life. I want to be the healing hand some children do not get. When I held my nephew for the very first time, I knew pediatrics was my future. Becoming a pediatrician will give me the chance to be a part of every inch, every first tooth, first word, and every smile. I will be able to protect, cure, and provide the best medical care possible

 

“You always have opportunities, you just have to watch for them”

She, a well-known bartender who works at Cables, definitely stands out from the crowd at first glance. Most don’t realize that she has such a powerful yet reassuring presence because of what she’s been through. When she was a child, she didn’t really have friends because she was constantly moving back and forth from little cities in Arizona to Fort Morgan, Colorado. Frequently moving brought forth some pretty rough obstacles in her life. At one point, her parents decided she couldn’t live with them due to the choices she made. Sick of letting those around her down, she decided that the life she had wasn’t the one she wanted. She decided to dedicate herself to acquiring a job she enjoyed. She began her job as a bartender just a few months ago and is flourishing in this line of work. Although she had a rough past, it has brought her the gift of both an unparalleled personality and life experience. As of today, she constantly reaches out to those who need help. Not only does she reach out to others, but also carries on the image of a strong, independent woman that her family is notorious for. Her motto is “You always have opportunities, you just have to watch for them.”

 

“The desperate knocking along my house made me hope that I was just dreaming”

The day I moved back to Colorado for the last time began with a harsh rapping of aggravated knuckles against the walls and even the windows of my house. It was an early Saturday day morning in Arizona, which meant that I was sleeping soundly in the comfort of my room. The desperate knocking along my house made me hope that I was just dreaming. Time passed by, and the knocking remained consistent. I jumped out of bed, crept to the door, and slowly opened it. To my surprise, it was my mother, my sisters, and my aunt. It had been months since I last saw them. Their faces were full of hurt, surprise, and exasperation; I’m sure mine was too. “We know about what’s going on,” my mother said in a strident tone, “and we’ve come to get your things and take you back to Colorado.”

 

"my sister’s health care provider told my dad that she needed her mom"

I am from Ethiopia. I am the oldest of five siblings. Our family was very happy in Ethiopia, so it was a difficult decision to come to the United States. Our family faced a challenge when my mother gave birth to my little sister. My sister was sick, and she needed medical care for her heart as soon as possible so my dad, who was in America, came and took my sister to get treatment in Denver. In 2017 many people were dying every day in Ethiopia because of two tribes’ conflict. It was very dangerous to live there, and my sister’s health care provider told my dad that she needed her mom. At that time my parents decided to move. When we came to the US, we faced many challenges such as language and weather. I started school in Fort Morgan. It was my first year of high school. I met nice people in high school, and they helped me a lot. I appreciate what they did for me. My future dream is to be an engineer. After so much destruction I dream to help and rebuild my country. I will try as much I can to make my dream come true.

 

"Having only a half a year of kindergarten"

Country origin: Zacatecas, Mexico
Time in U.S: 50 plus years
My grandfather was born in Zacatecas, Mexico. When he was a young boy he went to kindergarten like the other kids but sadly, just at the age of five-years-old, my great grandfather passed away because he was bucked off a horse and smashed his head up against a rock. A year later his mother passed away because they couldn’t afford treatment for her illness. After that my grandpa had to work on the farm because his aunt couldn’t afford for him to go to school anymore. His older brothers had to work and he needed to help in the fields. Having only a half a year of kindergarten, he worked in the fields until he was seventeen. Eventually he moved to Tijuana, Mexico and from there to Los Angeles, California. His life began there when he met my grandmother through my Tio Jose. They eventually fell in love and then had my dad and my uncle. He was a strict parent, very strict on schooling, on doing things correctly, and to never be late be on time. He taught my dad to respect others and not ask for things unless they are offered. When my uncle was sixteen, the family moved to a small town called Fort Morgan and owned a store. My grandpa worked at the beef plant for eighteen years he enjoyed it. All he really knows how to is work, so when he retired a couple of years back, he would find any little thing and work on it. Still to this day he just wants to work. Over the summer when we want to put up a fence or shovel rock, my grandpa wakes up at the crack of dawn to drive to our house and start working early in the morning when we’re all still asleep. Then we wake up because of the noise and go out and help him. He also loves to go and watch me and my brother play baseball and football. He supports us through everything and he always has a few words of advice before we play.

pao 

"We have to adapt to many new things"

I am from Puerto Rico (Mayaguez) and there are five in my family. I am the youngest in my family. I live with my mom and stepfather. My grandmother is in Puerto Rico and my dad is in Texas. I am freshman in high school. It was difficult We have to adapt to many new things. the first day of school. I had to adapt–not because people did not speak my language since I speak Spanish–I had to adapt to the cold because in Puerto Rico it not cold. We We aren’t used to the food here and sometimes we can’t understand messages people give us. My mom and my stepdad work in different jobs. My mom took care of sick people, but now she works at Cargill. My stepdad did construction and now he works at a dairy. We have to adapt to many new things.

 

"But it’s still like we are not free"

I’m from Eritrea. When I was nine years old, I left Eritrea with my family to go to a refugee camp in Tigray, Ethiopia. We lived there for six years. The reason I left Eritrea is because we don’t have freedom. From 1961 to 1991 we fought for our independence from Ethiopia and in 1991 we won. Our country gained freedom from the army of Ethiopia called Derg. But it’s still like we are not free, because the government does not allow us to enjoy our freedoms. Since 2000, the government has controlled everything. We cannot talk and do about whatever we want. Many people have even been imprisoned without trial for talking about freedom. Many government officials, who are journalists, are trying to fight for our freedoms. However, they are also political prisoners. Many innocent people have been imprisoned, even children and women. They never been in the courtroom. They didn’t commit any crime; they just talk about freedom. Eritrea only allows for three religions: Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, and Islam. People can not believe whatever they want. It made me sad every day. The world doesn’t know about Eritrea because there is only one news called ERi-TV and it’s controlled by the government. I want the world to know about what happened in Eritrea and help my people to freedom. These are the journalists and priests who are imprisoned by the dictator Isaias Afewerki.

 

"mom called me to tell that she could lend me money for my passport"

I was born in Tennessee. When I was six years old I moved to Guatemala to live with my grandma and my brother. I lived there six years. I liked where I lived in a beautiful little village. My grandma had a ranch, and I liked to work with the animals and ride the horses. I played basketball with friends, took care of the animals, and went to school. When I was ten years old, my grandma died, and then I lived alone with my brother. After that, my brother went to the United States, and I lived with my cousin. I stayed with her for one year and then my cousin died. I took care of her children, and I felt alone and sad. I called my mom, and she told told she was not working in the U.S. I did not have money to get a passport, so I stayed another half year with my cousin’s husband, and I graduated sixth grade. I went to the University of San Rafael La Independencia. I joined a basketball team with my friends, and we played against other teams. We won a championship trophy for first place. My brother-in-law was proud of me. We celebrated, and I was happy and sad because my grandmother was not with me. All of my teammates and I were celebrating, and mom called me to tell that she could lend me money for my passport. I could return to where I was born. I came here for school, and my dream is to study in college to get a good career. In college, I want to study to become a teacher.

 

"It is very difficult to get used to a new life, a new language, different customs, and people"

I’m from Honduras. I miss the traditional food events and celebrating special moments like birthdays and Christmas with my family. It is very difficult to get used to a new life, a new language, different customs, and people. I really liked traveling with my aunt through El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico. I had fun experiences and adventures with my aunt who went back to Honduras. It is very difficult to leave your family with whom you have had good and bad times. I miss my cousins a nd my sister. But, I also know that if I’m here, it’s a better future for me. My goal is to continue studying, to graduate from high school, to learn more English, and now that I have my baby girl, to give her a better future and to keep fighting so she can feel proud of me.

se 

"soldiers came to my house and took my dad"

I am from Eritrea and I was born in Elap in 2002. When I was two years and ten months old and my sister was ten months old, soldiers came to my house and took my dad. He didn’t want to go. He wanted to stay with my family to help us live, but if he said no they would have arrested him. My mom and I were crying a lot and I felt so bad and I wished nobody else would ever have to feel like this.When my dad was gone, my mom was always worried about how to find a job and money because these people also took our farming land. This was a big problem when I got sick because we couldn’t go to the hospital. Eventually, my mom found a job as a farmer. When I was ten years old, a lot bad things happened to my family. My mom’s gold was stolen, my grandpa died, and our house got on fire. Now I live in Fort Morgan with my mom, my dad, my sister, and my little sister.

 

"I’m from the eat-all-your-food and the clean-up-after-yourself "

I am from hand-washed laundry from water and soap I am from the grass in my backyard (Green, dark it tastes like paper.) I am from the garden of foods the glistening vegetables whose water-crunching leaves I remember as if I had tasted them the day before I am from rice and energy from homemade fun I’m from the eat-all-your-food and the clean-up-after-yourself from talk-when-you-are-ordered-to I’m from praying to an altar with offerings of food and clutching my hands I’m from Ha and Yang. I’m steamed noodles and Thai tea From the loss of my grandfather to impending old age And the grief we held to In my closet was a picture book dripping with old memories recollections of the young and old now stored within my mind. I am from those thoughts– blossomed before my maturity– a ripple within my heritage.

fist 

"Everybody looks down on you because you had a kid at a young age"

“I grew up in ghetto where there were a lot of drugs. Being a lot younger than all of my family and friends, I matured a little more than I should have. There was a gunfight with a rival gang after which were evicted and moved to Fort Morgan. “When you find out your girlfriend is pregnant at fourteen, it really opens your eyes. When I look back, I’m like how in the hell did we get as far as we are. My mom and dad were my biggest supporters. My dad showed me that you had to work to make a living and get ahead in life. “I was scared to tell my mom and dad that she was pregnant but they understood what we were going through. Everybody looks down on you because you had a kid at a young age. All I know is that I love my daughter. I wanted to take care of her. I had a full time job for about sixteen years in which there were so many positive influences. “I’m content with how things are; I’m not sad or mad or disappointed. Financially when you have three kids by the time you’re eighteen, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. I’m super proud of my daughters. They don’t put up with anything from any guys. They are in control and aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves. “The hardest thing is to not worry about what others think. Do you. Why should you give a damn about what others think.”

wali 

"The reason I am here is because my brother was killed"

I am from Puerto Rico. I am the youngest in my family. We used to have six family members, but now we have five. The reason I am here is because my brother was killed. This happened after the hurricane when a lot of people needed food and water. It was violent in my country, and my family wants to be safe. I am in my first year of high school, and everything has been difficult. Learning English, adapting to a new country, and living without my brother. I think my life is difficult because nothing is the same as before. My mom is sick. My dad works a lot, and my brothers are very sad. So with more reason, life is difficult. I have friends in school as well as problems. I learned more English, but it is still hard for me. My mom went to Puerto Rico, and she will stay there. I will be alone with my brothers and father in Brush. I want to finish school here in Fort Morgan. I’m not sure what I will study in college, but I want to continue my education.