“You Can’t See the Stars in Hempstead” – Emily Porter
Money/financial stress/poverty/economic group
In “You Can’t See the Stars in Hempstead,” Emily Porter reflects on growing up in a small town in her unfinished home. Her transition to Hofstra is difficult, as she adjusts to her new life. Her friends have experienced lavish lifestyles, while she grew up struggling with money. Porter cannot imagine her life without her home; despite it being far from perfect, it defines who she is.
- Verbal abuse
- Physical Abuse
- Abusive relationships
Amanda Topping was in, what seemed like, a perfect relationship. As time went on, her significant other, Jordan, began being verbally and physically abusive. The abuse continued throughout her pregnancy and parenting. Through it all, Topping used love to justify Jordan’s actions, but after a life changing incident, she reaches her breaking point.
“The Last time I would Hold my Daughter”- Brooke
- Foster Care
In “The Last time I would Hold my Daughter,” Brooke reflects on the day her daughter was taken away from her. Brooke’s friend had overdosed in the home, with Brooke and her daughter inside. Because of this, officers question Brooke. Despite her efforts to hide, CPS enters and takes her daughter away.
“A Childhood Taken”- Erika Vasquez
- Bad times
- The past
Erika Vasquez was forced to grow up faster than she needed to. In “A Childhood Taken,” Vasquez reflects on the incident that changed her life. At only seven years old, Vasquez was raped. The incident haunts her for the rest of her life.
“I was the Intruder”- Andreia Davies
In “I was the intruder,” Andreia Davies discusses what it was like growing up as a child of immigrants. Adapting to a new country is harsh for her and her family. She was harassed for being different, which made her feel out of place and like an intruder. She feared speaking up, and although she was not any different from the people around her, the teasing continued.
Pamela Toledo’s Story
- Transfer schools
Pamela Toledos is the daughter of an immigrant from Mexico. Her father tirelessly worked to provide for his children. She was embarrassed by him growing up, since he didn’t speak English. She begins to appreciate everything her father has done for her, and realizes he would do anything for her success and happiness