Home, I Am Here



I Am Here

Carson Campbell

Nashia Feliz

Ariana Martinez

Ayleen Mendez

Sakr Numi

Dayanara Reyes

Yarisleidy Tejeda

Saul Tobias

Chris Uraga

2017 | 1


I Am Here

Carson Campbell, Nashia Feliz, Ariana Martinez, Ayleen Mendez, Sakr Numi,

Dayanara Reyes, Yarisleidy Tejeda, Saul Tobias, Chris Uraga

This pilot program and publication would not have been possible without the

support of City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez and Atiyya Abdur-Rahman

of the Children’s Aid Society.

Harlem, NY

2017 | 3

© 2017 All rights reserved. Carson Campbell, Nashia Feliz, Ariana Martinez, Ayleen

Mendez, Sakr Numi, Dayanara Reyes, Yarisleidy Tejeda, Saul Tobias, Chris Uraga

This booklet may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, including illustrations and

photography, in any form (beyond that copying permitted by Sections 107 and 108

of the U.S. Copyright Law) without written permission from the publishers.

Cover Photo by: Siyaka Taylor-Lewis

Designed by:


EM Designs Group | 715 Peachtree St. NE. | Suite 100 | Atlanta, GA 30308

www.emdesigsgroup.com | mcook@emdesignsgroup.com

4 | 2017


table of



On the Development of This Publication 6

How We Got Here 7

I Am Two

Saul Tobias

My First Day In New York From South America Carson Campbell

Here / There (I Moved Here Seven Months Ago)

I Miss My Country

Dayanara Reyes

An Interview Between Ariana Martinez

and Carson Campbell


Diana Castillo Perez Cardani


Sakr Numi

Family 11

My Baby Brother

Ariana Luna Rosa Martinez

My Uncle/Mi Tio

Chris Uraga


Yarisleidy Tejeda

History Together

Chris Uraga

My Sister Is So Little

Nashia Feliz

Home 14

Where I Live

Ariana Luna Rosa Martinez

I Miss

Ayleen Mendez

Different Kinds of Journeys 16

The 100 Bus

Sakr Numi

The 1 Train

Chris Uraga

Things We Like and Curious Things 18


Ariana Luna Rosa Martinez


Chris Uraga

Pet Park

Ariana Luna Rosa Martinez

Dreams of the Future from the Newest Arrivals 20

Carson Campbell

Sakr Numi

Biographies 22

2017 | 5



Daniel Carlton, Facilitator

This project introduces young people to the

rich heritage of migration and community

building in the great village of Harlem. In my

work, it became very clear that even with all

of the gentrification that is happening that

Harlem and the neighborhood right above

it, Washington Heights, there are still large

numbers of people of color, who arrive, daily,

from within the United States, the Caribbean

(Spanish-speaking and English-speaking),

Mexico, South America, and even the Middle


So, using the pictures and poetry found in

three books: Jacob Lawrence’s The Great

Migration, Walter Dean Myers’s Harlem, and

Jacqueline Woodson’s brown girl dreaming.

I did writing and acting activities that helped

these children of today’s immigration and

migration, describe their experiences.

6 | 2017

How we got Here

2017 | 7

I Am Two

Saul Tobias

I am two types

I am of two places

I am here

I am there

I was born in Ecuador like my parents

I am raised American

I’m Spanish

While I’m English

I am combined with my parents

I love vegetables

But I love meat

I like listening to music of America

I like “Incan“ songs

I like my beautiful traditions of Quechuan songs

I like watching them on You Tube videos

(The future and the past make the present)

My two grandfathers have the same traditions and languages

They were born in different places

But both in Ecuador

When my parents argue in Quechua

It sounds to me like two Hispanics

Fighting in Chinese

I am two boys

In one place

My First Day In New York

From South America

Carson Campbell

When I arrived in New York it was cold!

I feel good, when we arrive

The first thing I saw:

Many trains, buses, and cars

When it was my mother’s first time (she came here before me )

She almost got lost downtown

8 | 2017

Here / There

(I Moved Here Seven Months Ago)

Carson Campbell

Born Antigua/ Moved to Guyana

There: Beautiful flying fish, beaches, houses, etcetera

Here : Sidewalks, annoying, noisy

There: My father tall 6’ 5”. Loves to play football and basketball. He works in the

interior. Gold and diamonds for me

Here: My mother tall nice. (She moved here three months before I got here)

There: Food—Duck, yams, roti, allo pie

Here: The food is in between

Here / There: This chapter

I Miss My Country

Dayanara Reyes

Because I love

The Food

My Family

(and my cousins )

An Interview Between Ariana Martinez

(AM) and Carson Campbell (CC)

AM: So I was wondering, where do you come from?

CC: I come from South America.

AM: Did your mom tell you where you were born?

CC: Yes, Antigua.

AM: Cool. So I was wondering if you have any ancestry with African-Americans.

CC: A really tough question—I don’t know

AM: Well, my mom took the ancestry test and it determined that she was part

African and Asian. So here is my last question: What are you going to tell your fans

out there?

CC: I don’t have any fans.

AM: Yes you do

CC: The only fans that I have are the ones that are spinning to give you a breeze!

(We all fall out laughing. The interview can’t go on after that! )

2017 | 9


Diana Castillo Perez Cardani

I am from the Dominican Republic

I was born in Virginia on May 23, 2004

I have two wonderful loving parents that are loving and caring!

I lived with my mother and stepfather

My mother and dad got a divorce

(And then came my step dad Marvin)

And then came my little sister Ailene

When I was ten and Ailene was six

My mom was deported to the Dominican Republic


Sakr Numi

My family is from Yemen

We wanted to come here

We came through Africa and Dubai

Half and half

When I first came here

I didn’t know how to speak English

I didn’t know how to do anything

I just listened

And learned

10 | 2017


2017 | 11

My Baby Brother

Ariana Martinez

A gift from God

My baby brother

Cute and sweet

My baby brother

Cutest boy in the world

I would ask for no one else

My Uncle/ Mi Tio

Chris Uraga

My uncle loved me a lot!

Cared for my well being

And he always asked “How are you doing?”

And before he left, he gave me two gifts

PS4 and a mini version of something that you can’t find anywhere!

He taught me how to be brave!


Yarisleidy Tejeda

My mother is everything

Because she was right there with me

And I love her

And she is in D.R. (:-

Light brown eyes

She is tall

She is light

She is beautiful

For me

12 | 2017

History Together

Chris Uraga

My uncles and brothers

Went to the same school

Maybe this one

They took care of each other

For protection

If one was being bullied

They all defended the one who needed help

They will always have a family bond

Because they went through hardships together at a few schools

I look up to them because they worked together

They are now separate but together at the same time

If you mess with any of us

You mess with all of us

I’m 12

They are 26, 27, 28, 29

That group is a big part of my family not in Mexico

My Sister Is So Little

Nashia Feliz

Her eyes are big like a balloon and brown

She’s special

Sometimes we fight

And those things


Sometimes we are together in happy moments

My Grandmother

Saul Tobias

Was everything

I loved her like my life

She made bad things into good things

All she gave was love

She flew like a dove

Now all I’ve got is a mug

Tall as a car

Strong from afar

She hated the bar!

2017 | 13

14 | 2017


Where I Live

Ariana Luna Rosa Martinez

I live in New York City

A City that people believe to be oh so pretty

I go into the subway and hear sweet Jazz

This man really has Pizzazz

I walk onto the street

And smell something sweet

It makes me crave a tasty treat

Tourists come here far and wide

I don’t understand why they are mesmerized

It’s all the same to me

I love it here

If I had to decide

I would stay in Home Sweet Home

New York

I Miss

Ayleen Mendez

The Bronx

I miss

My friends

I miss

My baby cousins

I miss

My house

The Bronx felt big and spacious

Memories of

Delis, parks, big buildings, pools, beaches, and schools

2017 | 15

16 | 2017

Different Kinds

of Journeys

The 100 Bus

Sakr Numi

When I take the bus at 11, I see lots of people

I understand some of their English

Because they are close to me

Hispanics, Arabic, Indian, American, African

I don’t know where they are going

Nobody knows where they are going

The 1 Train

Chris Uraga

The train was crowded

I saw a girl who was holding a computer

She walked through the car not seeing

She just continued on

It was a bad neighborhood

Even my mom was scared

The girl held the computer like a mirror

We changed trains

On the 1 train you change to

Other trains

The Bus

Chris Uraga

I see a man in a green sweater with his child ...who always meets his wife outside.

Strangely he always comes out at the same time as us …or he catches up to us.

Some days: My mom and him start a conversation until his wife meets up with him

...and then they get in the car.

This day: His wife asks “Do you want to get in the car?” I was nervous/ scared. I

don’t know her well. My mom does, not me!

So we didn’t take the ride. We took the bus.

My little sister didn’t say anything. She agrees with me!

2017 | 17

18 | 2017

things we like

and curious things


Ariana Luna Rosa Martinez


So sweet and tasty

It’s hard to believe it could hurt sweet Katie

So sweet and tasty

My comfort

My peace

So sweet and tasty

I try not to eat it hastily



Chris Uraga

When my parents talk, I like to play with the bunny. It was here when I was

born. When I was little, it was a baby as well. When it got older, I got older.

It is white like vanilla and brown like chocolate too. A healthy bunny. When

I was shy as a kid, the bunny felt like a friend or a brother because I had no

siblings my age (my brother went to work, and I was alone).

One day people moved near us, and they had bunnies too. A chubby and

white one was the reason that i saw, for the first time, how life happens. The

bunny gave birth, then there were lots of bunnies. The neighbors gave us

some, and now I have more friends to play with.

Pet Park

Ariana Luna Rosa Martinez

I see a man and a woman in a park

With their favorite pet dog

A dachshund

Tiny legs and a pretty green vest

The woman has bright green eyes and dark hair

The man has blue dyed hair and brown eyes

In a funny way, the dog looks similar to them.

It’s on the tip of my tongue

Finally, I remember what I want to say to them

“May, I pet your dog?”

“Of course,” the woman says

I pet the dog while it licks my face, I giggle

They look like a family

2017 | 19

dreams of the future

from the newest arrivals

20 | 2017


Carson Campbell

The year 2047

I am a defense lawyer

I have a wife who is a music director

I give to foster kids

I make $400, 000 a year

I give half to my mother because she raised me right, so that i could have this

better future


Sakr Numi

I’m in the NBA

A shooting guard

I live in a hotel in Dubai

I give ten million to my parents, which leaves me with forty million

I use my money to help people without money

2017 | 21







22 | 2017

Carson Campbell

I’m in the eighth grade.

Nashia Feliz

I’m in the eighth grade.

Ariana Luna Rosa Martinez

I’m in the sixth grade. My favorite is chocolate. I want to be an actress and

writer. I am a “caretaker” of animals.

Ayleen Mendez

I’m in the eighth grade.

Sakr Numi

I’m thirteen years old from Yemen. I want to be a basketball player. I respect

my mom and dad.

Dayanara Reyes

I’m in the eighth grade.

Yarisleidy Tejeda

I’m in the eighth grade.

Saul Tobias

My full name is Tobias Guaraea Pichaza. I want to be a soldier. I admire Colin


Chris Uraga

My full name is Chris Uraga Guzman (Felipe). My family is from Mexico and

New York. I want to be a lawyer and video game designer. I’m an introvert.

Sometimes I like being anonymous.




2017 | 23

About the


Daniel Carlton, facilitator, is an actor, writer (playwright, poet )

storyteller, teaching artist, director, Harlemite.

The Children’s Aid Society

Atiyya Abdur-Rahman, Site Coordinator, MS 328, School-Age Division,

The Children’s Aid Society

Mission: The Children’s Aid Society helps children in poverty to succeed

and thrive. We do this by providing comprehensive supports to children

and their families in targeted high-needs New York City neighborhoods.

While We Are Still Here

Karen D. Taylor, Founder and Executive Director

The pilot youth component of the Harlem Read-In is a project of While

We Are Still Here (WWSH), a 501c3, heritage-preservation organization

founded to ensure that the ‘post-gentrification’ community of Harlem

and beyond will honor and find a meaningful connection to the legacy of

African-American achievement, and its paramount importance to world


WWSH extends its appreciation to the workshop facilitator, Daniel

Carlton, and to Atiyya Abdur-Rahman of the Children’s Aid Society for

supporting this pilot program that instills into young people, a sense of

Harlem’s history and their place in it, as well as their place in shaping the


Please visit www.wwsh.nyc for more information.

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