Written by Elizabeth Barbee, photos by Danny Fulgencio

"Moving across the globe to flee life as a teenage bride, losing a parent, overcoming personal demons — teenagers here and everywhere deal with hardships, but few do so while remaining on the academic honor roll and even fewer emerge as leaders among their peers."

Rabiya and Ayesha Merchant

“It was awkward,” Ayesha admits. “We were stereotyped because we moved from a Middle Eastern country. They thought we didn’t know English. It was funny because we had seen it in movies and stuff — how people stereotype.”

Ericka Scott

"Ericka Scott once led something of a double life. As a freshman at Hillcrest High School, she was active in a host extracurriculars — cheerleading, basketball, volleyball and track — but she also got into the occasional fight."

Ben Broughton

“I saw I could look at this two ways,” he explains. “I could dwell on it — drink or smoke my way to happiness — or I could use it as motivation to continue on the path that I was on and just do the best I could.”
Photos by Danny Fulgencio

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.