Second Stories

Second Stories

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Everyone dreams about how they want their life to look, but not everyone has the same level of opportunity to fulfill these dreams. Some of us grow up in loving families with solid support systems, while some of us are born into hardship and trauma. None of us can choose the life we’re born into; none of us can write our own first story. These situations might place us at a disadvantage, but they do not doom us. And sometimes a person or an experience helps bring the future we dreamed of into reach. It lets us pick up the pen and write our own second story.
Amanda
Dec 5 • 34 min
Amanda’s family dynamic might sound familiar to many of us: things looked lovely on the outside but were actually challenging and dysfunctional. She remembers tension, addiction, financial pressure, and marital struggle that only worsened as she grew up.…
Bonnie
Nov 28 • 31 min
Bonnie’s home was safe in the literal sense of the word. She had a roof over her head, food to eat everyday, and parents who cared about her. But she felt smothered. She was lacking something important: a sense of belonging, and a sense that her feelings…
Merrill
Nov 13 • 36 min
This is part one of a two-part series from Johnny and his daughter, Merrill. When Merrill was 14 she started acting out. She wasn’t sure why, she just knew whatever she was doing made her feel better for a moment. The drinking, the drugs, the partying,…
Johnny
Nov 13 • 32 min
This is part one of a two-part series from Johnny and his daughter, Merrill. Johnny visited Second Story’s teen shelter as a young person when he felt he had nowhere to go. It made a profound impact in his life then, but maybe even more so decades later…
Carla
Nov 6 • 31 min
Growing up Carla loved bugs and books. “I was a dorky kid,” she remembers. She got teased a little bit, but she hardly cared as long as she was learning and reading. Then she got older and found herself in groups of people who disrespected her, even took…
Manny and Chauncy
Oct 30 • 35 min
Manny and Chauncy are brothers, with stories reflecting each others’ in many ways. Both Liberian, both called Northern Virginia home for a time, and both with dreams that inspire them and keep them up at night. Chauncy had something unique, though:…
Simron
Oct 22 • 32 min
Simron is a first generation immigrant, originally from South Asia. When she and her family moved to the U.S. she realized her new home had different expectations — and opportunities — for her than anything she’d ever known. Her family, though, didn’t see…
Tina
Oct 22 • 32 min
For the most part, Tina Gordon thought she was a lot like any other kid. She went to school. She had siblings at home. She played outside. Sometimes, though, she sensed that things were…off. She didn’t always get dinner, for example, and her friends’…
Introduction
Aug 8 • 1 min
Everyone dreams about how they want their life to look, but not everyone has the same level of opportunity to fulfill these dreams. Some of us grow up in loving families with solid support systems, while some of us are born into hardship and trauma. None…