Waiting for the Uncertain Future

Carlos was literally born on the grounds of the James Madison University campus, on what was then Rockingham Memorial Hospital. He is an American citizen, a resident of Harrisonburg, VA, and the eldest of his siblings. Unlike many of his high school peers, his major concern is not whether he’ll be accepted into a college when he graduates next year. His worry is where he will find the support of his family, let alone find home, if his parents are forced to return to two different countries of origin because both are not allowed to renew their Temporary Protected Status in the United States.  Continue reading

Then and Now

If you could give one piece of advice to a younger version of yourself, what would you say? Guillermo, Kellyn, and Helen of Harrisonburg High’s Class of 2018 did just that. Part I includes so many fun images of these students from video stories they made 2 years ago. But even if you don’t think they’ve changed much in terms of how they look, just listen to their maturity in Part 2. We think you’ll agree that these individuals are going to go far in their college dream to become leaders in our communities. Thanks to Professor Shaun Wright, and undergraduate students Bethany Warren and CJ Sander of JMU’s School of Media Arts and Design for their outstanding production.

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Guillermo’s Winning Spirit

By all accounts, Guillermo and his family are winners. He was a sophomore at the time this video was made, and he had an powerful story to tell about his family’s survival. This past spring, he emerged as a leader on the high school campus, wrestled in the state’s championship tournament, and accepting the role of mentor and tutor for younger high school students enrolled in the GEAR UP Virginia program. But what makes a winning spirit? And how do individuals survive in the face of trauma, loss, and displacement? Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Kelly!

It’s Kelly’s birthday!! To celebrate, we thought we’d show this video made last fall when she was a junior. Last spring, Kelly enrolled in AP Biology and worked in a university biology lab with Dr. Morgan Steffen, an Assistant Professor of James Madison University’s Department of Biology. Now that Kelly’s a senior, she’s looking into college programs that will help her achieve her dreams of studying psychology and traveling the world.  Continue reading