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POWERFUL VOICES

Writings from the Women’s Education Center at Rosie’s Place ©2017 Writing Café Cover and Art: Artwork, including cover image, by Cindy B., Maren Anne C., Scheena F., Cynthia H., Regina M., Florence P. and Janet T., under the direction of arts staff Michelle DeLew. Cover Designer: Danielle Weaver, Bridgeport National Bindery, Inc. Our Book Committee is comprised of students, volunteers, and Rosie’s Place staff, in partnership with our publisher. Students: R. Jovanka H., Aissatou J., Kettly J-B., Gilberte P., Xiazhi Q., and Meixia Z. Volunteers: Myrna Finn and Allison Monro Staff: Alex Babbist, Cerlyn Cantave, Michele Chausse, Lataya Ferguson, Liz Hughes and Sara Jorgensen Publisher: Michele Brennan, Bridgeport National Bindery, Inc. And many thanks for the support of the entire Rosie’s Place community!

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We dedicate this book to women who inspire us, our friends who support us, and all people who, like us, desire to learn in a new place and become whatever they want to be. When you read this book, we hope you will understand the fullness of women’s lives and find your own powerful voice.

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Table of Contents Powerful Women����������������������������������������������������������������� 11 My Story by Agathe P.��������������������������������������������������������� 12 Powerful by Andree J.���������������������������������������������������������� 12 I Am Powerful by Carida J.�������������������������������������������������� 13 I Am Powerful by Carmaine S.������������������������������������������� 13 Powerful by Clara P.������������������������������������������������������������� 14 My Story by Edeline J.���������������������������������������������������������� 14 My First English Journal by Elecir A.��������������������������� 15 My Story by Emily Y.������������������������������������������������������������� 16 I Am Powerful by Evelyne L.����������������������������������������������� 16 Powerful Woman with Determination by Francisca L.� 17 My Story by Gladys J-C.������������������������������������������������������ 17 A Powerful Woman by Lily Y.��������������������������������������������� 18 My Story by Marie Du.��������������������������������������������������������� 18 My Story by Mercedes P.���������������������������������������������������� 19 My Story by Nery M.������������������������������������������������������������� 20 My Story by Nicole L.����������������������������������������������������������� 20 Women Are Powerful by R. Jovanka H.��������������������������� 21 It Is Powerful by Xiazhi Q.��������������������������������������������������� 22 A Powerful Woman by Xiuzhen W.���������������������������������� 23 When I Feel Powerful by Ying Ying Z.���������������������������� 24 The Powerful Man by Zhixin W.����������������������������������������� 26 Where I’m From������������������������������������������������������������������� 29 Mogadishu by Aneb A.�������������������������������������������������������� 30 My Story by Halimo A.��������������������������������������������������������� 30 My Story by Josefa H.���������������������������������������������������������� 31 I Love America by Karima A.����������������������������������������������� 32 My Story by Marie T.������������������������������������������������������������ 32 My Story by Massiel C.�������������������������������������������������������� 33 My Hometown by Natercia M.�������������������������������������������� 34 My Voice��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 35 My Voice by Albertina G.���������������������������������������������������� 36 My Story by Annette P.�������������������������������������������������������� 36 | 5


My Life by Ayan H.���������������������������������������������������������������� 36 A Poem About Wishes by Bing Bing X.�������������������������� 37 This Too Shall Pass by Joanne P-J.���������������������������������� 37 My Voice by JoJo X.�������������������������������������������������������������� 39 My Story by Kenia P.������������������������������������������������������������ 39 The Door of Doors by Lucy N.������������������������������������������� 40 My Story by Lucy P.�������������������������������������������������������������� 42 My Voice by Marguerite B.�������������������������������������������������� 42 I Am Unique by Maria R.������������������������������������������������������ 43 A Beautiful Tree by Marie De.�������������������������������������������� 44 My Voice by Marie G.����������������������������������������������������������� 45 My Voice by Marie Po.��������������������������������������������������������� 46 I Am by Minnita J-L.��������������������������������������������������������������� 46 My Voice by Minouche C.��������������������������������������������������� 47 I Am a Powerful Woman by Nilda N.�������������������������������� 47 A Note to My Fellow Addicts by Norma S-H.����������������� 48 My Voice by Rita A.�������������������������������������������������������������� 51 My Voice by Rosemie J.������������������������������������������������������� 52 Stella’s Voice by Stella K.��������������������������������������������������� 52 My Story by Tempora P.������������������������������������������������������ 54 My Life by Yasmin S.������������������������������������������������������������ 55 About Me by Yocasta R.����������������������������������������������������� 56 My Family������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 57 I Am by Clothilde A-L.���������������������������������������������������������� 58 My Little Story about Mami by Darbalisia A.������ 58 A Powerful Woman by Emilia L.���������������������������������������� 59 My Story by Ermite J.������������������������������������������������������������ 59 My Family by Fatuma O.������������������������������������������������������ 60 I Am a Powerful Woman by Fernande P-N.������������������� 60 My Story by Lamise C.��������������������������������������������������������� 61 My Story by Liliane E.����������������������������������������������������������� 61 My Family and Job by Lucilia D.����������������������������������������� 61 My Mother by Luul A.����������������������������������������������������������� 62 About My Family by Marie B.���������������������������������������������� 62 My Sister by Marie M.���������������������������������������������������������� 63 6 | Powerful Voices


A Powerful Woman by Noemi L.��������������������������������������� 63 In America by Rosa C.��������������������������������������������������������� 64 My Voice Speaks Powerfully by Roushu H.�������������������� 65 A Powerful Woman by Santa M.��������������������������������������� 66 My Story by Teresa S.���������������������������������������������������������� 66 What I Like and Love���������������������������������������������������������� 69 Love by Adeline G.��������������������������������������������������������������� 70 My Story by Emilia L.������������������������������������������������������������ 70 My Dress and Me by Florence P.�������������������������������������� 71 My Story by Ghislaine J.������������������������������������������������������ 72 My Story by Hawa I.������������������������������������������������������������� 73 What I Like by Helta E.�������������������������������������������������������� 73 Idovane’s Story by Idovane M.������������������������������������������� 74 What I Like by Jeannette J.������������������������������������������������� 74 I Love It by Jesula F.������������������������������������������������������������� 75 What I Like by Joseline B.��������������������������������������������������� 75 I Like School by Julienne P.������������������������������������������������ 76 My Day by Khadijo A.����������������������������������������������������������� 76 My Story by Lucia M.������������������������������������������������������������ 77 Chicken by Marie C.������������������������������������������������������������� 77 What Makes Me Happy by Maria D.�������������������������������� 77 Things I Like by Marie J.M.�������������������������������������������������� 78 I Love America by Marie Pa.����������������������������������������������� 78 I Am Happy Here by Marie Pi.�������������������������������������������� 79 I Like by Marie S.������������������������������������������������������������������� 79 My Story by Marie R.������������������������������������������������������������ 80 Boston by Mitselal M.����������������������������������������������������������� 80 Hope by Orquidia L.������������������������������������������������������������� 81 My Name IS by Renia C.����������������������������������������������������� 81 My Story by Renyia S.���������������������������������������������������������� 81 My Story by Rose M.������������������������������������������������������������ 82 I Like by Roseline T.�������������������������������������������������������������� 82 My Story by Rossanny H.���������������������������������������������������� 83 My Story by Rufina M.���������������������������������������������������������� 84 My Story by Santa C.����������������������������������������������������������� 85 | 7


My Faith���������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 87 I Am a Woman by Angeline S.������������������������������������������� 88 My Story by Anne-Rose A.�������������������������������������������������� 89 I Pray by Askale H.���������������������������������������������������������������� 89 I Love God by Marie Z.�������������������������������������������������������� 90 Things I Love by Mary P.����������������������������������������������������� 90 Index ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 91

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Powerful Women

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My Story by Agathe P. I am powerful when I go to school and learn English. My name is powerful: it is Agathe Pierre. I am powerful because I am a student and because I am a mother. I am powerful because I speak two languages—Creole and French. I am a powerful woman from Haiti.

Powerful by Andree J. I am powerful when I am together with my son. He tells me how much I help him and he helps me. I am powerful when my son talks to me every Saturday. I am powerful when I am doing homework. I feel good and strong. I am powerful because I have been in America for 5 years. I am happy because now I can help my family. I am powerful when I can communicate with my family and my friends. I am powerful when I can explain something to other people. It makes me feel strong. I am powerful because I live with my family. I love them. I am powerful because my son continues at university. He makes me proud. I am powerful because, even though I am not near my family, I can help them by sending packages and money. That makes me feel closer to them. It makes me feel like a valuable person.

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I Am Powerful by Carida J. I am Powerful I feel powerful when I feed my grandson. I feel powerful on Monday mornings before I eat breakfast. I eat breakfast and I am full. I feel powerful when I see my grandson and daughter. God helps me to be more powerful.

I Am Powerful by Carmaine S. I feel good because of my family. I am powerful when I work at the nursing home. I am powerful when I go to Morningstar Church. I am powerful when I talk. I am powerful when I read books in English. I am powerful when I pray before I sleep.

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Powerful by Clara P. My name is Clara P. I am from the Dominican Republic. I have two children, who are in the United States. I like being a student in the English class at Rosie’s Place. I am learning to write sentences in English. I am learning more words. I want to tell you that when I came to this country, I did not know how to say open the door in English, I do not have the words to thank you for helping to teach me English. With your help and my efforts I feel Powerful. THANK YOU my beautiful, and Powerful teachers.

My Story by Edeline J. My name is Edeline. I am from Haiti. The capital is Port-au-Prince. I lived in Port-au-Prince. I have been in America for 7 years. I am glad to be here because I can get an education, health care, and food. I am powerful when I go to school at Rosie’s Place. I am learning to read and write in English. I am powerful when I speak with other people because I can communicate my ideas. I feel powerful when I help my 6 year old son with his schoolwork. I teach him every night.

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My First English Journal by Elecir A. My name is Elecir. I am from Brazil. I am a Rosie’s Place student. I decided to live in the United States, because I love this country, and here we have a lot of opportunities to learn English and to get better opportunities for the future. Here we have free and good adult schools. When you have opportunities, you can be powerful. If you feel powerful and strong, you can be more confident to help yourself and encourage other people to be confident and powerful too. I came to this country to visit my older sister who was living in Florida. After six months here, I decided to stay in this country and study English, because in Brazil we do not have a lot of adult schools. When I first came to the United States I did not understand any English. It was a very sad and difficult time for me, because I couldn’t speak or understand other people. I went to school and learned English little by little, day by day. Now I feel more confident about myself. I understand English better, and I can speak and understand better than when I came. I’m back in school at Rosie’s Place because I’m determined to speak English perfectly one day soon. I WILL BECAUSE I KNOW I CAN DO IT.

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My Story by Emily Y. Michelle Obama is a powerful woman. She is powerful because she is confident and she can do anything and she helps her husband. She is passionate about what children eat. She works for children to have better lives. She says she is happy and she thanks God for everything. I want to thank my teachers for helping me learn English.

I Am Powerful by Evelyne L. I am powerful when I am strong. I am powerful with a happy face. I am powerful because I have built muscle. I am powerful for going to work every day. I am powerful from singing in the church.

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Powerful Woman with Determination by Francisca L. Writing café class, Miss Kip Tiernan is a powerful woman. She is a powerful woman because she had a big mission to provide a safe and nurturing place to help poor and homeless women. She is passionate about her dream. She knows the women of the world are very important and on the journey of their lives She works hard to catch her dream and with determination she focused on her goal. She did not give up until she reached her dream. She dreamed of giving shelter, opportunity, protection, education, and security to poor and homeless women. Miss Kip you are my role model. I have a big dream. My big dream is to learn perfect English because in the future I want to work here at Rosie’s Place with my Latinos. I want to talk about my experience at Rosie’s Place. I’m sure with determination I am going to catch my big dream. Yours faithfully, Francisca

My Story by Gladys J-C. I am powerful when I am Gladys, myself. I am powerful when I learn English. I am powerful when I eat good food like fruits and vegetables. I am powerful because I am a woman from Haiti.

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A Powerful Woman by Lily Y. Michelle Obama is a powerful woman. She is powerful because she is a first lady and wife of the first AfricanAmerican president. She is a lawyer. She stands up everywhere for the sake of civilians. Her motivational perspective speaks for the people. She’s very focused on her and president Obama’s image, as they dress sensibly. So often her dress makes her one of the best public figures in the media. She is very smart. She says “choose people who lift you up.” It is important to always stay positive and encourage everybody.

My Story by Marie Du. I am powerful because I am strong and because I speak Creole. I go to Rosie’s Place and learn to speak English. I am always encouraging myself that I can do it. When I am together with my family, I am very happy.

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My Story by Mercedes P. I came to America with my husband. My first job was in a company covering the people who did not come to work. My second job was babysitting, taking care of twins, and sometimes the bigger sister of twins. My third job was taking care of senior people. My life in America was totally different, because when I came I didn’t speak any English, but I can speak a little English now. I do different a activities every weekend; I make my hair pretty and my body look nice for myself, my husband, and my friends. In 1996 I had my daughter. In 2000, my mother passed away. I have had a lot of depression; in 2010, my husband passed away, but on June 14, 2015 my daughter had her first child. Her son’s name is Josiah. They live with me. I am powerful, taking care of my daughter and Josiah.

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My Story by Nery M. I am powerful when I go to school. I am powerful when I learn from my teacher. I am powerful because I live in America. I am powerful because I am a student. I am powerful when I speak Spanish. I am powerful when I cook. I am powerful because I am a woman. I am powerful because I am a good mother. I am powerful because I am a good wife. I am powerful because I have a good job. I am powerful because of my children. I am powerful because I am strong. I am powerful with my voice.

My Story by Nicole L. I am powerful when I cook rice and beans for the people I love. I am powerful when I use my hands to do different things around the house. I am a powerful woman from Haiti who is smart and beautiful.

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Women Are Powerful by R. Jovanka H. Women are powerful no matter what nationality, race or social condition because each of us has something of value to contribute. We are powerful because we fight for our rights and for the integrity of our families. We defend our values and respect the values of others. It is admirable to see how many women at Rosie’s Place endure harsh weather and the vicissitudes of life to achieve their objectives. I think these women are powerful because they get their children to school on time, work hard and come to Rosie’s Place to study and improve. They have an inner strength and a force of will. That is inspirational. Our example is going to teach our children that life is good no matter the difficulties. We are powerful because when we fall down, we stand up with optimism. But if not, we ask for help from our families, friends or some organization like Rosie’s Place. Powerful women understand that sometimes we need someone who can help us or maybe just listen to us. Women are Powerful because we know there are no limits to our dreams and we have the inner strength to fight for them. Powerful Women | 21


It Is Powerful by Xiazhi Q. I have respect for all people who are strong, optimistic, and have character and determination and who are not afraid of death. An example is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He believed that everyone was equal and free and that everyone had a right to be treated with respect. Franklin Roosevelt was president of the USA. He was a good president. He led the USA and the world to overcome the Nazis to win World War II. Then he led the USA the victors to make a national peace treaty and George Washington was a soldier. He was a heroic figure. He was a leader and he made a great USA. He was the best president. He made the law that the president worked only eight years and not his/her whole life. They were powerful people. They displayed heroism. Their positivity encourages me to face all sorts of difficulties. I also admire my powerful sister. She has many illnesses. She cannot stand because her medicine was wrong. Her eyes didn’t see. She doesn’t eat by herself. Her Husband takes care of her, but she is still very optimistic. She sings songs. She speaks a lot. She is a powerful woman.

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A Powerful Woman by Xiuzhen W. Our world has many powerful women. They do many good things for their country. The First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama embodies this. Michelle Obama was born in Chicago in a working class family, she is very smart, she studied too hard and she attended two of America’s best schools, Princeton and Harvard law school. During this time she wrote the book ‘’Education Blacks and the Black community’’ During work time she was concerned and compassionate for the vulnerable groups including women and children and their health. Her family was very important for her education. Her mother is a good role model. She taught her integrity, she taught her to study and work with confidence and perseverance. She thinks a good education is important for a person and all people in our country. She believes education and health is very important for women and children in all countries around the world. She spoke about education to many young college students. She encouraged them do positive work in their counties. I feel that Michelle Obama is recognized around the world as a powerful woman.

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When I Feel Powerful by Ying Ying Z. I am powerful when I learn English. I want to learn English because I live in America. I need English to communicate, to read, and to write. I want to be able to go shopping and do errands by myself. I learn English at three difference places. First one is Rosie’s Women’s Education Center. There are two semesters in one year. We can get books for free. We learn English grammar and new words. The teacher gives us an exercise in class and lets us do homework after class. We also have reading and writing classes in the summer and winter holiday. Teachers are very nice. I like my Rosie’s class. Secondly is in Chinatown, the teacher Wong’s ESL class. The teaching material is very useful for us. We learn lot of new words and have conversations in the class. Such as how to make an appointment, how to see a doctor, and how to deal with emergencies. Ms. Wong is very good teacher. Third, I learn English from Holly from the senior house. Holly is the younger teacher. She teaches us how to speak English. I like her class and all of the classes. Now I feel my English is improving. For example, when I had just moved in to the senior house, one night, the alarm went off. I only understood “Attention please,” I didn’t know what was happening! I was very afraid of this announcement. But now I am not afraid, because I understand. I can make an appointment or reschedule 24 | Powerful Voices


an appointment. I can refill my medicine by phone. When I find that I can do something by myself using English, I feel happy. Learning English makes me feel powerful and self-confident. I am powerful when my husband is sick. I help him out in every way. I go to the hospital with him. I shop for food and cook things he likes. I wash clothes, clean the room and go outside for walks with him. Thanks to Dr. Allen and her team at MGH. They did a good job for my husband. Now my husband’s health is much better than before. Now I feel powerful, because I did a good job to help my husband to get better. I feel powerful when I teach my neighbors dance. Every Friday morning we have one hour to learn folk dance or line dance in the community room. Last year I taught a Tibetan dance to our dance group. A lot of them had never danced before. So learning Tibetan dance was difficult for them. First I show the dance style one by one. Then I stand in front of them and let them follow me. After that I help everybody to correct their dance style. Over and over again they follow me to dancing. Now our dance group does very well. We will dress up in Tibetan red dresses with white extra-long sleeves. Then put on colorful apron, garland hat, red boots to dance. Chinese New Year came on January 28th, 2017. Our dance group showed off our beautiful Tibetan ‘Snow Mountain Agatha’ at our senior house Chinese New Year party. Our show was a success. I feel powerful and self-confident, because I try my best to make everybody in our dance group happy and confident too. Powerful Women | 25


The Powerful Man by Zhixin W. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a powerful person. He was a Doctor of theology and a Civil rights movement leader in the 1950s and 1960s. His famous speech was “I have a dream.” In that 1963 speech he said: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” He led people to fight for all people to have freedom and democracy and for everyone to have equal rights. He worked for all Americans. He had a powerful voice and worked very hard. His merits and achievements were great. Since then, minorities’ status has gradually improved. All Americans respect MLK very much and remember him, so, every year the third Monday in January is Martin Luther King Day. Nowadays discrimination against different race groups is illegal. Barack Obama was elected the 44th president. He led America for eight years and obtained good political achievements. He received many Americans’support and love. They both are very powerful men! They are heroes in my heart. I am a mother and grandmother. Before I came to America, I was a weak old woman. Since I came to America I lived together with my daughter’s family, and took care of my grandchildren. That is my blessing. When my grandchildren grew up, I moved to Boston in 2008. Since that time, I began to study English at

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many places, such as YMCA, Boston Public Library, and Rosie’s Place. Many people are volunteers who teach us. Their selfless dedication, spirit and positive energy are my example. So, I want to continue to study, to become a powerful person. I am learning from these people and their strong and great effort, and excellent character.

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Where I’m From

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Mogadishu by Aneb A. My hometown is Mogadishu. It is in Somalia. Mogadishu is a big city. It has tall buildings. It is very hot and very noisy. My hometown is different because it is hot and dry. People are friendly. I remember I went to school when I was 7. I came to the United States in January of 2014. I left my country because my family is here, but it’s not good because the language is difficult.

My Story by Halimo A. When I came to America I saw different food, people, and different language. I remember it was summer and hot. I was with my family but not all of them. I came with my 4 children. 1 child was born in Boston. I feel happy here with my family. I am from a big town in Somalia I like that Americans are independent. I miss my family and friends. My mom and my sister are still in Somalia. The cold in Boston was a shock! In Africa we did not need jackets and boots. My daughter had a cold for three months.

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My Story by Josefa H. My name is Josefa. My family lives in Boston. My Father lives in the Dominican Republic, and my brother and my sister are in the D. R. also. I came to the United States eight years ago. I have three children, they are studying very good. They are working very good. I go to the Dominican Republic sometimes. I am sad because my family and my friends are there. I like my country, the food and fruits. My country has a beautiful beach and an agreeable temperature. It is tropical and very good. I like it here for learning English in Rosie’s Place and school is special and important. I know and understand more day to day.

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I Love America by Karima A. I love America. America is a big country. I love my family. My family is in Ethiopia. I miss my family. I came to America one year ago. I see animals in Ethiopia. It is very hot in Ethiopia. It is cold in Boston.

My Story by Marie T. I am from Haiti. I have traveled to work. I love Jesus, music and people. My favorite food is rice and beans and soup. My favorite thing to do is to go to work because of the people. I want to make more money to help my family in Haiti. I am passionate about this country and Haiti. I do not like avocado because I am allergic. My past is good because I live in Boston. I have my family and I have a good job. My future is my kids. Always, I am happy to live near to my family.

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My Story by Massiel C. My name is Massiel. I’m 20 years old, I’m from Bani in the Dominican Republic, Bani is beautiful and tropical. I have been living here in Boston for 7 months, Boston is very cold in winter. I live with my mother and my uncle in Dorchester. My home is happy. I have 7 brothers and 5 sisters, six of my brothers and 4 of my sisters live in Boston the rest live in New York City. I visit them in New York City, but I like Boston more. New York is very crazy, I prefer Boston, because I like going to the zoo, the pool, the beach, the restaurants downtown and the movies.

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My Hometown by Natercia M. My hometown is Brava. It’s in Cape Verde. My hometown is very small. My hometown is difference because the stores are small there is a hospital. I remember the Nazarene church and my friends, Carlos, Vandira, Nini and Edy. I came to Massachusetts because there are many people and cars. Massachusetts is good for immigrants because you can get a green card. Massachusetts is a difficult place for immigrants because there are not many jobs for immigrants.

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My Voice

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My Voice by Albertina G. My voice is Portuguese. My voice is sweet when I call my family. My voice is soft like pillows. My voice is never too hard like rock. My voice is sweet like honey.

My Story by Annette P. I Am I am a student. I am living in Boston. I am a woman who wants to read English because I want to get a better job. I am always busy. I am from Haiti.

My Life by Ayan H. I am from Somalia. I speak Somali. I am a mother. I love my family and caring for my kids. I am always cleaning. I am always busy. I am a student. I am cold because it is winter. I like living in America. But some of my family is still in Somalia.

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A Poem About Wishes by Bing Bing X. I wish I was Santa. I wish I could bring a book named “Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairytales” to all the orphans. I wish they would be thrilled after reading the book. I wish all these little fairytales could make them have a beautiful smile. I wish the smile could motivate them to study hard and have a great future. I wish there was no fear for them. I wish the sun could warm them up and make them feel they are not alone. I wish the moon can direct them in the dark when they are lost. I wish Santa’s gift could let them know they are not left behind and people love them. They are all essential to this wonderful world. I wish they are joyful in this holiday.

This Too Shall Pass by Joanne P-J. II am currently homeless because I recently divorced my husband. Due to the high costs of market rent in Massachusetts, I was unable to pay rent by myself. Initially I lived with carious family members and friends but eventually I ended up at Rosie’s Place shelter. Anyone can become homeless- even YOU can become homeless! You could get divorced and not be able to afford market rent by yourself. You could get sick and incur massive medical bills/expenses. You could suffer a serious injury and become addicted to the pain medication. Or you could substitute other drugs or alcohol to take the edge off to ease the pain. Unfortunately, you may become a drug addict or alcoholic. Your company could downsize and you My Voice | 37


could be laid off from your job that you had for over twenty years. It can be difficult to find employment that compares in salary to your former job. Ultimately you are evicted from your home because you fall behind in your bills and rent/mortgage. Any of these scenarios can happen to you. Have you ever stopped on the streets and said hello to a homeless person? The next time you see a homeless person on the streets, I hope you are a compassionate towards this individual. Maybe you could stop and smile. Say hello. Ask their name. Inquire about their day. Maybe this human being will feel comfortable enough to reveal to you how they became homeless. You may discover that this person’s life has a lot of similarities to your life. Many Homeless people are college graduates and had great careers. Beautiful homes. Loving families and children. Money. Cars. Excellent health. Goals. They probably never dreamed that they would be broke and homeless. I can guarantee that this was definitely not on their bucket list. It’s easy to get frustrated looking for affordable housing opportunities. Being a guest at Rosie’s Place has been a tremendous blessing in my life. The staff and volunteers at Rosie’s Place have provided me with a wonderful place to stay, housing resources, education and social classes, meals, and the opportunity to meet so many other strong, beautiful women. Rosie’s has helped me stay focused and positive during my homeless journey. I know this is a temporary situation. This too shall pass! I am homeless… not hopeless!

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My Voice by JoJo X. My voice is like thunder when I sing a Chinese song. My voice is erupts like a volcano when I feel my opinion is right. My voice is forceful like a waterfall. For my daughter my voice is not the same as everybody else’s because I am unique. My voice is sweet like dove candy, never complaining. My voice is happy like sunshine. My voice is full of love and it affects everyone. My voice is very peaceful when you hear it. I love my voice.

My Story by Kenia P. Freedom is when you can do something you need to do in your life. Freedom is when you can say something you need to say. Freedom is when you respect the other person and they respect you and your decision. I love freedom.

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The Door of Doors by Lucy N. I went through a door without a key. My voice was heard. I went out of the back door. That was the other side of my life. Everything was the same. I was more confused, I was afraid but I had hope, because there were two staff members with me. One of them was pregnant. Because she was pregnant, she was expecting a baby. She must be a good woman. They were nice to me. I was in a state of life or death. I was crying, I tried to hide my tears from them. One of them told me “we are taking you to the shelter.” The other one asked me “don’t you have somewhere that you can go?” I asked her why? They said the shelter is not a good place to live in. Their faces were sad. Well that was a moment in my life to take a stand dead or alive. I called God into my heart and he was with me. I could feel his presence. I thought of my children, mom and dad my sisters and brothers. The voice was talking to me in a calm way. “Don’t worry don’t worry.” I will not leave you alone. The next building, they talked to a staff. He asked me to come in to his office. He asked me some questions and made me an ID. The two staff left till today I haven’t seen them again. He showed me the shelter rules. I told him I can’t read. He said “don’t worry with time you will know them.” He was very kind to me. I felt better with that. There were police men in the shelter. I was afraid but I talked to myself that if there is any problem they are going to help us. 40 | Powerful Voices


There were so many people in the shelter: Men, women, young and elderly people, some in wheel chairs. At that time, I felt like I should cry aloud. I was afraid. I felt like someone was very close to me. The voice told me this is where you belong. You have to stay here! Stay away from the world. They don’t like you. “I will take care of you.” Till today he is with me. That is how I started my journey of the other side of my life, every time I stand at the front of the door it will be opened for me Every door that I entered the workers were nice to me. They listen, advised and cared for me. I started feeling better. I met with doctors, nurses and staff. I also made a lot of friends. I moved to other shelters for lack of beds some times. And I found Rosie’s Place, at Rosie’s Place they were so many doors - school, workshops, trips, self-defense class, shopping, clothes, storytelling class, gardening, food pantry, a shelter (wow) and W.C.C. I went through all these doors without a key. Finally, these doors gave me a key to open my own door where I live today. The door of doors. My voice is powerful, my voice is lovely, my voice is beautiful, my voice is me, my voice is a blessing to others, I use my voice to praise God. My voice heals babies they love to hear me sing to them.

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My Story by Lucy P. I am powerful when I cook and I am always eating. I am powerful with my voice. It sounds Creole. My voice is always happy and my voice is nice. I am a powerful woman from Haiti. I am a student in the classroom. I am powerful because I can do it My voice is not soft, and my voice is not quiet, it is big. My voice can dance when I am together with my friends and my grandchildren.

My Voice by Marguerite B. My voice is strong. My voice is beautiful. My voice is unique. My voice is not deep. My voice is alto. My voice is different from everyone else. My voice is God-given. My voice is sweet.

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I Am Unique by Maria R. Today I have an energy in my body. I was in my home trying to be strong for my kids and I came here to do my best part. I came to the USA with my daughter when she was 1.5 years old, now she is 13 years old. I had to work hard. I am a good mother who did the best for my daughter. I am unique because not too many mothers do that. I think like Michelle Obama who tries every day to help people. Her voice goes far away like the leaves. I feel like that when I speak with people because I have sweet words to comfort the souls of all who need me. I survived all of these years alone here. I am a strong woman because I saw my father die in front of me. I love the honest not the false.

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A Beautiful Tree by Marie De. I am a beautiful tree Yes, I am because, each season, I dress with many different colors And that makes you happy to admire me. I am very important for your health Because you can use my leaves and makes delicious tea, you can also use my fruits to eat, make juice. You can use my leaves in many different ways. I’m strong, because a lot of me can live for many years. Neither the rain, the high wind or the snow can frighten me. When the sun is too hot, people and birds can get refreshed by my shadow. I continue to make you happy. Glory, Glory to the creator, JEHOVAH.

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My Voice by Marie G. My voice is light and clear like a blue sky. My voice is happy after cooking for my family. My voice is strong when I talk to my friends. My voice is not joyous when I am sad. My voice is melodic when I sing in the choir. My voice roars when I am angry. My voice prays when I am in the church. My voice is not calm when I am in the funeral. I use my voice to protect myself. I use my voice to feed my grandchildren. I said “Come to act for Gramma.” I use my voice to speak. I use my voice to pray. I am very happy today, joyous because it’s my son’s birthday.

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My Voice by Marie Po. My voice is light and happy. My voice speaks English. My voice speaks Creole. My voice is not angry. My voice is sometimes sad. My voice is sometimes tired and depressed. My voice is loud when I sing. My voice is not loud when I speak. It is quiet.

I Am by Minnita J-L. I am from Haiti. I am happy every day. I am happy because I like English class. I am happy when I go to church. I am happy when it snows.

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My Voice by Minouche C. My voice is mine. My voice is Haiti. My voice is Minouche. My voice is not Trump’s. My voice is good. My voice is fun. My voice is Haitian. My voice is not weak when I speak English.

I Am a Powerful Woman by Nilda N. My voice speaks for myself because I am strong. My voice sounds sweet everywhere like raindrops. My voice is always delightful like an angel. My voice will never lose its power to speak openly. I sometimes lose my voice when I am sick. My voice can speak advice to my children. I tell them to study hard. My voice will be strong for all of my life Because I am a powerful woman.

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A Note to My Fellow Addicts by Norma S-H. Gwen, the main character, from the movie, 28 Days, played by Sandra Bullock is a good example to compare with my life. Gwen was an alcoholic and a drug addict. She drank what ever she could get her hands on and popped prescription pills, such as Vicodins. I am in recovery from substance use as well. My drugs of choice were, weed, wine and crack. I hope that the person reading this understands that we addicts, no matter how bad our lives are or were, WE DO RECOVER! Gwen would hang out in bars and drink all night and go home to have sex with her addicted boyfriend. She would not remember the night before because often times she would have “black outs.” Like Gwen, there were times in my life when I would drink until I blacked out too. Friends use to have to tell me what I did the night before and I would be really embarrassed, but the next week I was in the same bar doing the same thing. I’m talking about insanity, repeating the same things and expecting different results. Most substance abusers are said to be insane. Gwen’s condition as well as mine, meet some of the criteria of the definition of addiction as it is defined in DSM IV. Gwen, attended her sister’s wedding and showed up drunk. She made a fool of herself and terribly embarrassed her sister by falling on the cake and ruining it. Gwen did not feel anything was wrong with this because her mind was not thinking clearly, she started

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laughing hysterically, she also made a toast and said that her sister was marrying her husband for money and called him a “little sucker.� This toast was made in front of everyone at the wedding. Gwen stripped her clothes off down to her underwear and stole the bridal limo to find a place to replace the ruined wedding cake. In the process she crashed the car into a house and damaged a lot of property. I remember attending a very sophisticated event with gowns and tuxedos and the tickets were very expensive. I embarrassed my boyfriend so bad that night. I blacked out and apparently I was flirting with the bartender and making a fool out of myself. Like Gwen, this behavior was out of my control. Addiction is a terrible illness to live with. Some people say that addiction is a choice and a person can just say NO. This is Bull Shit! Think about it, if people had a choice when it comes down to addiction, do you really think they will choose to be an addict? This film, as well as my lived experiences made me understand that addiction does not discriminate. It does not matter your, race, socio economic background, age or gender. The US criminal system characterizes addiction as a crime and the medical system characterizes it as a disease. I define addiction as a disease with no cure but can be controlled with proper tools and support systems. Therefore, there is hope for people like Gwen and myself. We must acknowledge that we have a problem with drugs and understand that we need help to battle the demon of addiction. It is important for us addicts to understand that we cannot recover by

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ourselves. Its crucial to surround ourselves in a recovery atmosphere. We must change people, places and things from the old to the new. Many people relapse during recovery because they go around the old playgrounds, hang out with the old playmates and eventually use their old play things. When one gets a whiff of recovery, they want their old friends to see how good they look and how good they are doing. However, our old friends can get us high way faster than we can get them clean. Sometimes we think we are strong enough to sit around our friends and family while they get high. We may do it the first few times, but I guarantee you, if you keep going to the barber shop you will eventually get a haircut. Another popular thing that causes many substance users to relapse is they believe since they no longer use drugs, they can sell it. Wrong! Monkeys cannot sell bananas. People that get a Higher Power usually succeed in recovery. For some people its God, for others its Allah, for some its Buddha, Nature, their children, their dead mother, what ever it is as long as it’s a power greater than yourself it will work. My Higher Power is God. Once we decide to seek recovery, our life changes for the better. Today, I am a Recovery Coach and I help others seeking recovery to find happiness and success. In order for me touch more lives, I formed a business named, AmronInternational.org. If you are a substance use abuser, and you come to recovery, in order to keep what you have, you must give it away. Our job is to help as many people as we can to recover. We must also allow others to help us in our recovery journey as well.

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Gwen and myself will always be in recovery, we will never be fully recovered. Relapse is a reality but it is not a requirement. If you slip, get up, dust yourselves off, ask for help and continue the process. Understand that we suffer from a DEADLY disease. Diabetics must take insulin to stay well, cancer patients must have Chemotherapy to get better and addicts must pray and watch their backs in order to stay alive! Just because we suffer from the disease of addiction, does not mean we have to live in misery. We can be happy, joyous and free if we want to. WE DO RECOVER!

My Voice by Rita A. My voice is quiet. My voice is big. My voice is smart. My voice is not noisy. My voice is soft when I am sleeping. My voice is melodic. My voice is slow. My voice is not mean.

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My Voice by Rosemie J. My voice is happy. My voice is soft. My voice is beautiful. My voice is not loud. My voice is strong. My voice is nice. My voice is not mean. My voice is important.

Stella’s Voice by Stella K. A time when I felt powerful is when I came to the United States of America. I didn’t know how to speak English, and I was homeless. I was at the Women Center called On the Rise. The workers there sent me to school. The name of the school is called Community Learning Center in Cambridge. I was very happy at that school, and then I became powerful because I studied English and the computer. I liked the school because our teachers were powerful. They were very nice to the students, and they taught us well. At that school there are many students who came from different countries. I felt powerful because I received a good education. I learned English and the computer, and how to read books and write. These are the skills which I got there.

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The women of On the Rise are powerful women because they are helpful women. They are powerful because they gave me an education. The women of On the Rise are passionate and loving. They gave us food to eat and helped us find housing. They gave us an education and did many things that are important such as gave soap, clothes, lotion, shoes, and other things like that. They helped us to use the computer to find places to sleep for the night. Sometimes they took us out to eat in the restaurant, and took us out to watch movies. Sometimes they took us to see the farmers to get some fruit to eat. They encouraged women to be as good as they could be. I am a passionate woman because I have good energy and health for doing my work in my house. For example, I clean my house, I do my laundry, I cook food like rice and chicken, and green banana with beef. I relax by watching T.V. and listening to choir music. And then I go to bed. I am passionate about loving my family. I love my children and grandchildren. I love my friends too, and love everybody. Sometimes it is difficult for me to be powerful because it is still hard to speak English with people. I continue to be powerful by learning English and computers.

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My Story by Tempora P. When I work, I am powerful. My voice is powerful at my job because I can speak clearly and my friends listen to me. My voice is very important to me because I can express if I’m feeling happy or not. I use my voice powerfully with my children because I help them with their studies. I felt powerful when I came to the United States. That was my dream. People listen to me because I speak clearly and confidently.

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My Life by Yasmin S. I take a shower. I pray. I start cleaning, I start cooking for the family. I go shopping. I come back home. I give my kids a shower. After that I get them ready. I go to the mosque and study Quran. I feel peaceful and powerful when I study Quran. We come back home. I feed them dinner. I put them to sleep. The end.

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About Me by Yocasta R. My name is Yocasta. I am smart. I am a wife. I am from Bani in the Dominican Republic. My mother and father and sister and brothers still live in the Dominican Republic. I came to America on March 28, 2010. I remember it was Spring. I remember I was happy because I came to America with my family. I house one friend and two babies. I am super happy. My weekend was busy on Sunday. I went to church. I cleaned. I cooked. I was with my children and family. This class is free it does not cost money. I am free. Lunch is free. My country is free.

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My Family

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I Am by Clothilde A-L. I am from Haiti. I am happy. I am good. I am always a mom because I have kids. I like cooking dinner. I always like to learn English. I need to go shopping some days. I don’t like laundry or going to the market. I wish to go to New Jersey to see my family. I am a grandmother and a good mother. I am ready to go home to my house.

My Little Story about Mami by Darbalisia A. I would like to speak about my mother. She is a powerful woman. Romelia is a powerful woman because she is old and still works all the time. She cooks for everybody in the house and she is always happy. Every one loves her cooking and she is passionate about money . She make patelito (johnnycake) to sell in the school. She get up at 5:30 am every weekday to make then. She make alot of johnny cake per day and people buy them all they all delicious. She feel accomplished when she sells all she say doesn’t feel old when she cook for all of her family. Mami she is a powerful mother. I love her. Romelia Lara.

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A Powerful Woman by Emilia L. A mother is a powerful woman. She is powerful because she carries on the family and brings joy. She is passionate about her kids and her family. She works to keep everyone safe and off the streets. She says: “Watch out who your true friends are.”

My Story by Ermite J. I’m happy that I am from Haiti and that I speak Creole and English. I’m happy that I can come to Rosie’s Place for school. I’m happy for the love of my mother. I’m happy for the love of my father. I’m happy for the love of my children. I’m happy for the love of my sister. I’m happy for the love of my brother. I’m happy to love my family.

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My Family by Fatuma O. I have six children, two daughters and four sons. My daughters love toys. My sons love basketball. They read books together. I help my kids every day because I clean their clothes and I make the beds, and in the morning I cook breakfast because my kids go to school. In the afternoon I help my kids with Quran. We all like summer because we go outside and have fun.

I Am a Powerful Woman by Fernande P-N. I am a strong woman. I have a good character. I take time to focus on my job as a mother, wife and grandmother. I am always working at home to cook Haitian food for all people, clean my house, do laundry, etc. I never feel tired to help my children to go to school on time in the morning and go back home. I am ready to help them do their homework such as math, reading and writing, etc. I take a shower, dress and then undress at the end of the day. I believe in God and pray with them to thank God before they go to bed. Loving my family makes me feel powerful.

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My Story by Lamise C. My sister is a powerful woman. She is powerful because she is loving and she loves me. She helps me. She likes me for me. She is passionate about our family. She works to have a clean and inviting home. She says to pray to God and to go to church.

My Story by Liliane E. My name is Liliane and I am a good mother and daughter. I am a happy and nice lady. I am always cooking good food like chicken and turkey. When I am together with my family, I am happy because my son is happy. I love my family, especially my sister because she is good.

My Family and Job by Lucilia D. I love my family. I love Jesus. I love my daughter Maria. I love my son Clader. They live in New Hampshire. I work at the school. I love work. I clean the school in Braintree. I wash the floors and the bathrooms. I clean the classrooms too. My name is Lucilia.

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My Mother by Luul A. I love my mother. My mother is beautiful. My mother lives in Boston. Her name is Ali. I live with my mother.

About My Family by Marie B. I am from Haiti. I came to America in Spring of 1988. I remember it was hot. I remember fish and chicken. I came with my sister. My sister went to Georgia. She died in Georgia. My son came to America. He was 6 years old. He went to school. After he finished school he worked. My grandson is 18. He is going to college in September. I am happy.

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My Sister by Marie M. My sister Nini Olmann is a powerful woman. She is powerful because she works very hard at the restaurant where she cooks every day. She is passionate about her friends. She works in Haiti. She says she loves making meals all the time. She says she loves me all the time.

A Powerful Woman by Noemi L. My mother is a powerful woman. She is powerful because she worked from an early age to educate her younger siblings and she never gave up despite the obstacles. She grew up in Lima, Peru. She didn’t have money or a good job, yet as the oldest sibling of five brothers, she managed to pay for their bills so they could go to school. She started working when she was 10 years old. She isn’t working anymore, but she still volunteers in Lima. She is passionate about reading the Bible and the word of God. It’s her love of God that motivates her to volunteer. She is 62 years old, but she still works sometimes in hospitals and jails as a volunteer, spreading the word of God. She tells me to always believe in God and make many good things for myself as well as other people. She gives me advice on how to be a good person and to do the right thing. My mom is my role model, and I look up to her.

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In America by Rosa C. I am from the Dominican Republic. On May sixth 2012 I came to America. It was winter. My husband and my son were very happy for me. My son and my husband were already here. There was a lot of snow. I was very happy to be with my family. I came alone because my children and my husband were already in America. I miss my brother and my sister because they are still in the Dominican Republic. I haven’t seen them for three months. I like apples, bananas, church, and coffee but I don’t like snow and okra. I am powerful in my house when I write and read, and when I take my grandson to church. I am very powerful when I am with my family and friends. I am a tall woman and a mother. I feel passionate about my life. I am a good friend because I welcome everyone at school. I am always ready for new things. I enjoy shopping and buying things for my nice house.  

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My Voice Speaks Powerfully by Roushu H. I will write a paragraph about my grandchildren and in each paragraph my voice is powerful. I have two grandchildren, one grandson and one granddaughter. My grandson’s name is Link Wang. He is twenty-six years old. He is a MBA postgraduate at Stanford University. Last May, he completed the MBA degree. Then, during summer vacation, he visited me and stayed here with me for two days. My grandson has many interests. He likes music. He can play the piano very well. He is interested in sports and used to be keen on dancing. He is exceptional. My granddaughter’s name is Kaitlyn Smith. She is a pupil in 4th grade. She lives at Louisiana State University with her father and her mother. She is a pretty girl. She likes to ride horses, dancing, and painting. Besides riding horses, dancing, and painting, she also likes to play the piano. Last year, she was on the principal’s list. She is a very good girl. I love my grandchildren. It is my voice powerfully.

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A Powerful Woman by Santa M. My sister is a powerful woman. She is powerful because she helps a lot of people, and speaks Spanish and English, and she is a powerful wife because her work helps support the family. She is passionate about reading, because she can learn and be a better person. She works as a lawyer in the Dominican Republic and helps people in trouble. She says that God is her king, because He is very good to her. She is very happy.

My Story by Teresa S. In my first writing class I wrote about me, but today I’m going to write about my older daughter. I’m a mother of three children but they are all grown up now. I felt strong and powerful in 1995 when I brought my daughter Walkiria to this country. At that time my daughter was eleven years old, but later I was scared because we didn’t know any English. As time passed and after one year, my daughter knew more English than me. At this time I was more optimistic because my daughter made me feel strong when she went to college. She graduated from Johnson and Wales in Rhode Island in business travel. Later in 2001 the U.S. Army sent her to Iraq, and she spent almost one year over there. The power of my voice diminished when she was gone. My daughter stayed enlisted in the Army after coming back from Iraq. When my daughter came from Iraq I felt alive 66 | Powerful Voices


because even though I talked to her many times, we were scared, but thank God she came home safe. When she came from Iraq we organized a big party with my family and my friends. After that she was posted to another base with her fiance Grant to Hawaii. They have lived in Hawaii for about four years, and in 2015 they got married over there. And my daughter made my dream come true when I traveled to the most beautiful island in the world. In Hawaii she got her master’s degree in Human Resources. After one year they were posted again, now to Denver, Colorado. I’m so proud of my daughter because even though she was not born in the U.S. and is tiny, there is no job in the world that is too big for her. She studied hard, now she continues to study for her Doctorate.

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What I Like and Love

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Love by Adeline G. I love my teachers in Rosie’s Place. They teach me English. I learn to read. I learn to write. I love Boston. I love Michelle Obama. I have two sons and one daughter and three grandchildren.

My Story by Emilia L. I like Rosie’s Place, because of my English class. I like to cook for my family, who I love. I like to go to the pool and the gym. I like to work to help people. But I don’t like people who lie to me. I like the life I live. I like trying to read books. I like my kids and family. I like playing soccer. But I don’t like the beach. I like to do my kids’ makeup. I like to wear high heels. I like getting help on my homework. I like going to the mall, because I get to buy clothes. But I don’t like kids being loud in the house.

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My Dress and Me by Florence P. Holding my best friend in my arms Quiet time My room all lite up from the sun coming in My dress My favorite just the one I think about the feeling of who am I in it. Or is it not yet? They took something away But one day I will wear it And it will be with my head up high You will notice the new me the one “Healed Signed Sealed And Delivered” Because God said I am His child and Everything will be alright Or is it I am ok with me? Inside and Outside I am every women “Phenomenally” That’s me Classy Sexy Elegance Grace Beautiful What I Like and Love | 71


Famous Intellectual Self love And forgiven me. Yes today I can wear this dress Because I am free to be me It’s not about You, It’s my dress and me.

My Story by Ghislaine J. I like America because there is safety. I like my country. I like my family. I like my best friend but I don’t like beans. I like school at Rosie’s Place. I like my teachers. I like to go to church. I like my mother but I don’t like bananas. I like rice and vegetables. I like to go to the library where I can get books. I like to dance when I am happy. I like to sing but I don’t like turkey.

72 | Powerful Voices


My Story by Hawa I. My name is Hawa and I am a student at Rosie’s Place. I am happy to be a part of this learning environment and read in English better. I am mostly thankful for my teachers and the staff that wake up every day for women who didn’t have a successful education.

What I Like by Helta E. I like mango. I like carrot. I like apple juice. I like banana but I don’t like apples. I like chicken. I like melodies. I like to dance. I like dogs but I don’t like cats. I like my boss. I like my baby. I like to eat. I like my sister but I don’t like rude people.

What I Like and Love | 73


Idovane’s Story by Idovane M. I love America. I love cooking food in my kitchen. I love Rosie’s Place English class. I love my teachers, Clare, Ellen, and Maria. I love my family. I have one daughter. Yoline lives in Dorchester. My mother lives in Boston. But I don’t like kids being loud in the house.

What I Like by Jeannette J. I like to go to church. I like to go to school. I like to cook. I like to go to work but I don’t like snow. I like Haiti because of my family. I like my son. I like dancing. I like Boston but I don’t like beef. I like catfish. I like salmon. I like to eat. I like chicken but I don’t like pork.

74 | Powerful Voices


I Love It by Jesula F. I love my school and my teachers. I really like how they help me with English. My English wasn’t good at all, but with the help of the teachers I am getting better. I can have some conversations. I like the fact that I get a lot of different help in my school from teachers and staff. The students are amazing. The school is like a second home to me, I’m always happy to be there.

What I Like by Joseline B. I like to exercise. I like to feel strong. I like to feel alive. I like to sleep but I don’t like the rain. I like to shop. I like my house. I like jewelry. I like to have a good morning but I don’t like the bus. I like to go to school. I like to learn English. I like my teachers. I like being smart. I like to go out and have a good time but I don’t like the snow.

What I Like and Love | 75


I Like School by Julienne P. I like school. I drink coffee and get ready for school. After school I go home I feel good. This school is happy and is nice. This school helps me with English. I need school to speak English. My school work is hard and fun.

My Day by Khadijo A. I get up in the morning. I make a breakfast at 7:00 am. After breakfast I get dressed. I go to school Tuesday and Thursday 9:30-11:30am. Then I go to the home of my friend. She helps me with my homework at 6:00 to 7:00 pm. I come back to my home at 7:30. This is what I do each day. On Monday and Wednesday I exercise at 9:00-11:00 every week. Tuesday and Thursday I go to school. On Sunday I go shopping with my friend at 1:00 pm. I come to my house. I read an English book. I feel good and I eat dinner. I go to bed at 8:00 pm because I have to get up early to pray from 4:00-5:00am. I like my routine.

76 | Powerful Voices


My Story by Lucia M. I am from Sao Vicente, Cape Verde. Now I live in Boston. I have lived in Boston for 13 years. I am a good mother of five children. My oldest child is 46 years old and my youngest is 27 years old. I have seven grandchildren; some are big and some are small. I am loving to my family. I like to cook everything. I especially like to cook chicken, rice, beans, and fish fries. I cook for my husband and my sons. I do not work in a job. I am a student in English class because I want to speak English. I like my teachers. I am always studying English so I can spell and write.

Chicken by Marie C. I love chicken. It tastes good. I get it at Rosie’s Place.

What Makes Me Happy by Maria D. Music makes me happy. Music is great. My 2 children are learning to play guitar in Boston. Their names are Kalina and Jovani. I like Cape Verde. I love music and my guitar and I love my children. I have 2 daughters, 7 sons and 17 grandchildren.

What I Like and Love | 77


Things I Like by Marie J.M. I like my voice. My singing is passionate. I love my daughters, Valentine and Christina Juana. I love my sisters Josette and Reenette. I love my Bible because every day I read it for my protection, but I don’t like health problems because I have pain when I am sick. I like my neighborhood because it is friendly. I like bus driver because every day they take me to important services. My doctor respects me. He has full patience with me, but I don’t like pain because it make me sad. I like orange juice for vitamin C and apples for my health. They protect my health. I like everybody in my class. I like my teacher because she is a good person. I like Rosies Place because it helps me and I have fun there. Thank you Lord.

I Love America by Marie Pa. My kids go to school in America. My daughter is a doctor and my son is a lawyer. My other son is an engineer. I love my kids. My son, Sonny, says “No more work. Now you go to school.” Now I come to Rosie’s Place. .

78 | Powerful Voices


I Am Happy Here by Marie Pi. I am from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I left my country because there is no work and no jobs. I came with my 2 daughters. I miss my family most. I like Rosie’s most in the U.S. I like school and to get food at Rosie’s Place. I am happy here.

I Like by Marie S. I like Milk I like Fish. I like Beans. I like Bananas. I like all food. I like walking. I like cleaning. I like my family. I like Jesus. But I don’t like the devil. I like dancing. I like church. I like teachers. I like the sun. But I don’t like snow.

What I Like and Love | 79


My Story by Marie R. I am a student. I like to learn. I am happy. I feel excited. I am working. I am a friend. I am a sister. I am trying to speak English. I am happy to be alive.

Boston by Mitselal M. My name is Meserat. I love Boston. Boston is big. Boston has kind people. I sleep in Boston. I walk to Boston Medical. I go to school in Boston, at Rosie’s Place. My family is in Ethiopia, but I love Boston.

80 | Powerful Voices


Hope by Orquidia L. I like to learn from people from different countries. I am a woman with passion for God. I feel hope when I think about the future. I like education because it is spiritual. I don’t like the discrimination that I see in the world. I am sad about this discrimination. I hope that people white and black can live together in peace.

My Name IS by Renia C. My name is Renia C. I love to cook. I cook food in my kitchen. I cook chicken and mashed potatos. Sweet potato is my favorite. I cook for my family.

My Story by Renyia S. I love my daughter. Her name is Luisa. She lives in Boston. She works at the hospital. Laura comes to my house. We go shopping on Saturday. We bought food. I have been in Boston for four years.

What I Like and Love | 81


My Story by Rose M. I am from Haiti. I have traveled to Florida. I love my job because I need to make money. My favorite food is fish and vegetables. My favorite thing to do is go to the market to buy food and vegetables. I want to go to school. I am passionate about my family. I do not like to go to the movies. I am powerful when I am not sick, when I go to work, and when I am happy. My past was good. I worked a lot. My future is being with my family. Always, I am going to New York.

I Like by Roseline T. My name is Roseline. I like shopping. I like Haiti. I like apples. I like eggs. But I don’t like snow. I like fish. I like ice cream, I like Rosie’s Place because it helps people. I like America. I like English class. I like summer. I like family and vegetables but I don’t like trouble. . 82 | Powerful Voices


My Story by Rossanny H. I like my car, a Honda, because it is big. Eight people can fit in it. I like my car because I don’t have to walk to school, work, and to go to Cambridge. I like my car because it is clean. I like to take my car to the carwash. My car is white and when it is clean it shines. I like my dog because she is small and beautiful. Her name is Linzy, but I don’t like her barking. I like my eyes because they are green. I like my house because it is beautiful, cheery and big but I don’t like cleaning. I like my mother. She is valuable because she is wise. Class is valuable, it helps me speak to my child’s teacher. My car is valuable but I don’t like the color. It’s white and it gets dirty. I like my country. It is important to me because my family is there. I go to vacation in the Dominican Republic. I like to eat the fish, beans and rice.

What I Like and Love | 83


My Story by Rufina M. I like spring; there are many different flowers. I like when school ends because then comes summer. I like vacation. I’m going to visit my daughter. I like to go to different states in the summer but I don’t like to stay home. I like times when I can have a lot of fun. I like to take swimming lessons. I like swimming in a pool or at the beach. I like to see the brilliant sunshine but I don’t like to see my friends look sad. I like to go to the park and go to the zoo. I like to review my English when I’m on vacation. I like to visit my friends. I like to go out on a summer afternoon, but I don’t like to go to bed early in the summer.

84 | Powerful Voices


My Story by Santa C. I like listening to music when I’m cleaning my home. I like to go to my job every day. I like to eat a lot when I’m at home. I like to go to the gym every day. But I don’t like to eat at night, because it makes me fat. I like my new apartment, because it is new. I like where I live because I have everything close. I like to read English to learn more. I like Dominican food, because it’s very good. But I don’t like red meat, because it hurts my stomach. I like spring, for the roses. I like to go to the beach in summer. I like to go on vacation to my country. I like winter because it’s cold. But I don’t like snow, because it’s very dangerous.

What I Like and Love | 85


86 | Powerful Voices


My Faith

My Faith | 87


I Am a Woman by Angeline S. I am passionate to find a cure for cancer. I see too many kids who suffer with cancer. I am trying my best to see what I can do. I do hope to live long enough to come up with a cure for cancer that is natural. I feel the need of a natural cure for cancer. I am a woman of faith in God. I know God’s passion is for us to be healthy, and the key to receive blessings from God is to follow his rules, I am trying my best to obey his rules, and hoping someday He can reveal to me a cure for cancer that is a natural treatment. I am a woman of love, I care for myself and others. May all glory go to my Eternal God. What a unique way to live by dedicating my life to help others. It is a blessing to care for each other. I claim no superiority but I am joyful when I help others. While I am willing to rise often I face discourages, but little by little I am working towards my goal. Hopefully by my persistence I will someday come to achieve it all.

88 | Powerful Voices


My Story by Anne-Rose A. My name is Anne–Rose. I will talk about singing. I like to sing. I sing in the choir at church. When I sing everyone tells me I have a good voice. When I sing I enjoy singing because I feel good. I am happy to use my voice to sing. I like to pray all the time. Whatever I do, I pray. I like that when I pray, I feel strong. If you pray God will help you with whatever you do or whatever you want. I am trying that all the time. Before I do my homework, I pray. Before I go to work, I pray. Before I go to sleep, I pray. When I wake up in the morning, I pray. When I pray I don’t pray only for myself, I pray for everyone. That means I use my voice all the time.

I Pray by Askale H. I Pray in the Morning, I Pray in the Night. I pray to God in the morning, it helps me have a good day. I go to church every Saturday and Sunday to pray to God and I say to him give me good sleep and I need peace. He hears me. 

My Faith | 89


I Love God by Marie Z. God is great. God is nice. He loves everyone. I pray to God. I go to church on Sunday. I take Bus 28 to church in Dorchester. I say thank you to God.

Things I Love by Mary P. I love God because he is great. I go to mass from Friday to Friday. I pray to God for food. God is strong. I pray for things. I love my kids. I have four kids. I love my mother. America is a big country. I come to school at Rosie’s Place. I come to learn English. I love to cook food in my kitchen. I love my friend Mike. My mother is good to me.

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Index Name Page Number Adeline G. 70 Agathe P., 12 Albertina G. 36 Andree J. 12 Aneb A. 30 Angeline S. 88 Anne-Rose A. 89 Annette P. 36 Askale H. 89 Ayan H. 36 Bing Bing X. 37 Carida J. 13 Carmaine S. 13 Clara P. 14 Clothilde A-L. 58 Darbalisia A. 58 Edeline J. 14 Elecir A. 14 Emilia L. 59 Emily Y. 16 Ermite J. 59 Evelyne L. 16 Fatuma O. 60 Fernande P-N. 60 Florence P. 71 Francisca L. 17 Ghislaine J. 72 Gladys J-C. 17 Halimo A. 30 Hawa I. 73 Index | 91


Name Page Number Helta E. 73 Idovane M. 74 Jeannette J. 74 Jesula F. 75 Joanne P-J. 37 JoJo X. 39 Josefa H. 31 Joseline B. 75 Julienne P. 76 Karima A. 32 Kenia P. 39 Khadijo A. 76 Lamise C. 61 Liliane E. 61 Lily Y. 18 Lucia M. 77 Lucilia D. 61 Lucy N. 40 Lucy P. 42 Luul A. 62 Marguerite B. 42 Maria D. 77 Maria R. 43 Marie B. 62 Marie C. 77 Marie De. 44 Marie Du. 18 Marie G. 45 Marie J.M. 78 Marie M. 63 Marie Pa. 78 Marie Pi. 79 Marie Po. 46

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Name Page Number Marie S. 79 Marie T. 32 Marie Z. 90 Mary P. 90 Massiel C. 33 Mercedes P. 19 Minnita J-L. 46 Minouche C. 47 Mitselal M. 80 Natercia M. 34 Nery M. 20 Nicole L. 20 Nilda N. 47 Noemi L. 63 Norma S-H 48 Orquidia L. 81 R. Jovanka H. 21 Renia C. 81 Renyia S. 81 Rita A. 51 Rosa C. 64 Rose M. 82 Roseline T. 82 Rosemie J. 52 Rossanny H. 83 Roushu H. 65 Rufina M. 84 Santa C. 85 Santa M. 66 Stella K. 52 Tempora P. 54 Teresa S. 66 Xiazhi Q. 22

Index | 93


Name Page Number Xiuzhen W. 23 Yasmin S. 55 Ying Ying Z. 24 Yocasta R. 56 Zhixin W. 26

94 | Powerful Voices


Index | 95


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