On Monday, March 25th, 2014, we screened “Life on the Line” with the students of Breakthrough, an organization based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, whose mission is to transform urban education for students and teachers. Students of Breakthrough come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and countries, and immigration is very much a part of their daily lives. The kids who watched “Life on the Line” come from Haiti, Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Somalia, Palestine, Tibet, the Dominican Republic, Eritrea, and Puerto Rico.
As part of our afternoon with Breakthrough, students wrote “Letters to Kimberly,” sharing their own personal stories:
You are an inspiration! I am separated from my father too, but not for the same reasons. Your story made me realize that there’s a lot I take for granted, made me never want to give up. Do you ever want to give up?
I am Asian- American, mostly Vietnamese. I always try to embrace and enhance my culture even though there’s this American culture as well. I’m not so comfortable calling myself American since I’ve had a difficult time defining my own identity. All these years I’ve been bulied and teased because how I look and my different culture, just because I wasn’t a type of skin color. At first I was ashamed that I didn’t fit in, but I’ve learned to take pride in it.
You inspire me. Because of you, I will no longer take school for granted.
My culture, my nationality, is Haitian, but I’m known as a Haitian-American and I speak Creole and English at home and English at school. My mom and dad are from Haiti and I was born in America. I identify as American, because that is who I am.