The Roots of Our People: From One World to Another

— Written By

Boxed In

~ Aldo Galvan Hernandez

“I am from a box
A box that contains the dualities of my identity
                  Una caja hecho en Mexico
                  And shipped to America – I am from a place between everywhere”

In February of 2017, Eight Wake County 4-H Juntos students, Dr. Crystal Chen Lee, (Assistant Professor North Carolina State University Student Press Initiative Educator), Beatriz Velazquez, (Wake County 4-H Juntos, Program Coordinator), and Stephany Mejia (Wake County 4-H Intern -UNC Chapel Hill, MSW) met at Garner Magnet High School (GMHS) to create a bridge from One World to Another – fluidly – as sunlight moves from dawn to dusk. The goals were to, first, encourage immigrant youth to hone their creative writing talents, learn about publishing, and authentically extend their voice. For three months the authors met weekly after-school in addition to 4-H club meetings. They wrote, they edited, re-sculpted their words writing about their past, present and dreams to develop the future they and their families came here to create.

The youth and their families live in two worlds. “The worlds are not separate, but integrated, and it is at the intersection of both worlds that creates the unique character of who they are”.

The writings are phenomenally powerful and distinct in this bona fide anthology. Each author unpeels layers of perception and reality to share with the reader the sweetest of fruits.

Student authors held a book signing at GMHS for the end of year program at their school and were recognized by their peers, parents, and school administrators, as well as community, county, and state stakeholders.

For further information and to purchase a book (a minimum donation of five dollars in support the Wake County 4-H Juntos program) one may contact Juana Hernandez-Urquiza, NC State Juntos Director at: jhernan4@ncsu.edu or Gina Garcia-somuk, Wake County 4-H Juntos Grant Manager: ggarcia-somuk@wakegov.com.