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LGBTQIA+ Voices to Honor This Pride Month

June is Pride Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing stories from LGBTQIA+ people finding peace and acceptance with themselves, their families, and the people they love — and sometimes, making history in the process. These conversations are all about finding love, your people, and your place in the world. Dive into memorable and touching stories from our LGBTQIA+ community.

Is there an LGBTQIA+ person in your life who you want to honor with a StoryCorps conversation? Learn how you can help them feel heard and record a meaningful conversation at StoryCorps.org/OutLoud.

A Life of Honor

When Joseph Patton joined the Navy in 1955, he had to serve in silence. At the time, the LGBTQ+ community could not be open while in the military. Joseph remembers the pride he took in his service and the beauty and joy that love has brought to his life.


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Love and a Life Complete
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StoryCorps Podcast: Love and a Life Complete

Many people come to StoryCorps to have a conversation with someone who’s been meaningful in their lives. Some of our favorite interview moments come from partners and spouses — especially when they’re discussing matters of the heart.


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"You said that you were in the wrong body, that you should be a man."
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A Family Transition

In 1997, Les and Scott GrantSmiths’ marriage was on the rocks. They had been together for ten years and were raising two children. But Les was hiding something: although he was born female, he felt like a man in the wrong body.


The Saint of Dry Creek

As a teenager, Patrick Haggerty began to understand he was gay — something he thought he was hiding well. One day, he learned that his father could see him more clearly than he realized.

 


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We're Still Here
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StoryCorps Podcast: We’re Still Here

A collection of stories from trans women of color, who have often been the first to stand up for equality, and the last to be recognized for their contributions.


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"That was the only thing we could do to legalize our relationship."
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Loving Unconventionally

Walter Naegle recounts to his niece Ericka what it was like falling in love with the iconic civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, in a time where marriage between two men was impossible.


A Life Worth Living

MJ Seide never thought that she would live a happy, fulfilling life. Then she met her future partner, who at the time had been married to a man and raising children.


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"I was debating whether I would say something at dinner..."
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After Facing A Difficult Coming Out, One Couple Changed A Mother’s Heart

Leslye Huff and her partner, Mary Ostendorf, met in 1983. Leslye was open about her feelings for Mary, while Mary felt less comfortable with public displays of affection and had not told many people in her life about her sexuality, including her family.


Growing Up Gabe

Chris López always knew there was something different about her youngest child, Gabe. Assigned female at birth, Gabe felt like he was a boy.


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No One's Going to Stop Me
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StoryCorps Podcast: No One’s Going to Stop Me

Many of our LGBTQ+ stories center the voices of elders. Let’s look to the future, and hear what the next generation has to say.


Love Lost, and Found

Sue McConnell and Kristyn Weed are best friends and Vietnam-era veterans. Although they didn’t serve in the war together, they share a story of courage — on and off the battlefield.


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“He would sit and tell us what it was like to be gay in 1890.”
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Remembering a Gay Icon in Mother Bryant

At 82 years old, Alexei Romanoff came to StoryCorps with his husband, David Farah, to remember the person who taught him to be proud of who he is.


The Door She Opened

At the age of 63, Dee Westenhauser came out as a transgender woman. She remembers growing up in El Paso, Texas in the 1950s, and the one person who made her feel like herself.


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"In high school when I first started wearing make-up, my family didn't notice."
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Pink Lipstick, Fur Coats, and Authenticity

Kiyan Williams had a conversation with their friend Darnell Moore about growing up feeling different from other kids and grappling with his family’s expectations. Today, Kiyan works with LGBTQ+ youth in New York City.


Honor Military Voices for Memorial Day

Memorial Day gives us an opportunity to remember those who have died while serving in the U.S. military. We’ve put together a collection of stories from veterans, service members, and their loved ones to help us reflect on their lives, contributions, and sacrifices. Listen to their voices below.

Honor a veteran, service member, or military family member in your life today through StoryCorps conversation. You can record in person using the StoryCorps App, or remotely using StoryCorps Connect.

The Last Viewing

In 2005, Allen Hoe’s oldest son, Nainoa, was killed in action in Iraq. Not long after on Memorial Day, he had a chance encounter with a stranger that brought them both unforeseen comfort.


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“I would listen and then pray for their strength.”
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“I Took an Oath to Respond to the Needs of My Nation”

Army Major Ivan Arreguin, a military chaplain, tells his wife, Aileen, what it was like to provide medical support in New York City in April 2020, during the height of COVID-19.


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“These folks have made the ultimate sacrifice and the least we can do is take care of them.”
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An Airline Worker Finds His Calling Honoring The Military’s Fallen

Brian McConnell, who’s been an airline worker for close to four decades, told his wife, Nora, about how he found his calling providing support to fallen service members with the Delta Honor Guard.


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"He was talking about this feeling that he had that he was going to die."
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In Memory of Diego Rincon

George Rincon and Yolanda Reyes, remember their son, Army Private First Class Diego Rincon, who received U.S. citizenship after he was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2003.


1st Squad, 3rd Platoon

In 2005, Marine Lance Corporal Travis Williams and his squad went on a rescue mission in Barwanah, Iraq. He was the only member of his team to make it back home.


The Nature of War

Specialist Justin Cliburn was deployed to Iraq in 2005. While serving in Baghdad, he formed a friendship with Ali and Ahmed, two boys who lived near his compound.


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“I don't see him as a symbol. In some way that takes him away from me.”
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In Memory of Army Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman

Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman was the first American soldier killed in combat during the War in Afghanistan. His brother, Keith Chapman, and his mother Lynn honor Nathan’s memory.


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“Because she was Asian, they wouldn’t accept her. Mom said she didn’t care; she enlisted anyway.”
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Remembering One Tough Veteran: Lieutenant Susan Ahn Cuddy

Flip and Christine Cuddy remember their mother, Susan Ahn Cuddy, the first Asian American woman in the Navy and the first woman gunnery officer teaching air combat tactics.


Pearl Harbor, Tattooed on Your Soul

On December 7, 1941, over 2,000 people died when Japanese fighter planes attacked Pearl Harbor. On that day, Frank Curre, then a teenager, was serving aboard the U.S.S. Tennessee.


Want even more stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

Stories to Reflect on for Father’s Day

Father’s Day offers us a chance to recognize the role that dads and fatherhood have played in our lives. Enjoy our collection of stories celebrating father figures and the many ways they support and shape us.

What would you like to share with a parent or guardian in your life? This Father’s Day, honor a father figure and record his story. You can record in person using the StoryCorps App, or remotely using StoryCorps Connect.

From Our Animation Series, Father Figures

Double Major

When Wil Smith enrolled as a freshman in college, he brought an unusual roommate with him — his infant daughter. Wil and Olivia look back together on their days as college roommates.


Leading the Way

John Washington, 95, was born blind and with a severe loss of hearing. He sat down with his eldest child for a conversation about the pride he takes in his kids and to laugh over some of their childhood hijinks.


A Wonderful Life

The memories may be hazy, but the feelings are clear. Ken Morganstern, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s five years before this conversation with his daughters Priya and Bhavani, discusses his most important legacy — his loving family.


My Aunties

Stefan Lynch remembers the community of gay men – lovingly nicknamed his “aunties” – who helped raise him, the dark days of the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, and the lessons that he learned from this powerful family.


More Stories for Father’s Day

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"When you and I communicate with each other, we can do it by beats."
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A Father-Daughter Beatboxing Duo on Making Music

Ed Cage has been beatboxing to his daughter Nicole Paris since before she was born. They talk about their shared love for the art, and each other.


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“I remember feeding him; watching him close his eyes with each spoonful.”
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For a Father’s Last Meal, the Main Ingredient Is Love

Sisters Estela and Candi Reyes remember their father, Juan Reyes, and the love they shared through food while caring for him in his final days.


Driving Lessons

Muhammad Faridi talks to his father about what it was like to grow up as the son of a NYC cab driver. Though he was once embarrassed, Muhammad now takes pride in his father’s work.


The Saint of Dry Creek

When he was a teenager in a rural town in the 1950s, Patrick Haggerty began to understand he was gay. After performing at a school assembly, he received some life-changing advice from his dad.


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“Some of my earliest memories are of us playing his video games.”
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He Created His Destiny

Anderson and Karen Lawson remember their father, engineer Gerald Lawson, and how his pioneering spirit influenced their childhood in 1970s Silicon Valley.


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"He always seemed so grateful for living."
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A Gentle Giant

Libby Stroik talks about finding a kindred spirit in her grandfather, Harry Golomski, and about her treasured memories of their quiet mornings in rural Wisconsin.


Daddy’s Lessons

Arguster and Lebronze Davis grew up on their family’s farm in Wetumpka, Alabama in the ‘50s. They remember life on the farm and the many lessons of their dad, Ben Davis.


Want even more stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

Giving Thanks to Teachers Everywhere

Over the past few years, educators of all kinds have risen to many challenges, both new and old, while teaching and supporting students. Trust us, we see all your hard work and know how much you mean to your community. Even during tough times, teachers everywhere are lighting up minds and spreading knowledge.

To show your appreciation to a teacher in your — or your child’s — life, listen and share from our selection of stories from teachers of all backgrounds. Then, #ThankAnEducator by recording a memory using our self-directed tools. These expressions of gratitude (and funny classroom anecdotes!) will be archived in the Library of Congress.


Get Inspired by Listening to Their Stories


Here are some animations on the theme of — you guessed it — the impact educators can have.

Lessons Learned

From the first roll call of the 1964 school year, Dr. William Lynn Weaver was targeted and harassed by the faculty of his previously all-white high school. Then a former teacher stepped in and saved his life.
Read the full transcript here.

Making It

Noe Rueda tells his high school teacher Alex Fernandez about how as a child, he used his entrepreneurial talents to help his family make ends meet.
Read the full transcript here.


Thank An Educator by Recording a Memory


StoryCorps wants to spark a moment of gratitude for the educators who have been working tirelessly to adapt to our collective new normal while supporting and teaching students of all ages and needs. #ThankAnEducator using StoryCorps Connect, our remote interview platform. StoryCorps Connect interviews allow you to have meaningful conversations and preserve them at the Library of Congress through video conference technology. You can learn more and get the conversation started today at storycorps.org/thankaneducator.

 


Explore a Collection of Interviews from the 2021 State Teachers of the Year


Notes about CCSSO’s National Teacher of the Year Program: The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)’s National Teacher of the Year Program is the most prestigious teacher recognition program in the country. These exemplary educators used StoryCorps Connect to reflect on the year, share wisdom, reconnect with the teachers who shaped them, and show a lot of gratitude for the work educators across the country do day in and day out.

Kim Stock and Chris Stock

Kim Stock, the 2021 Delaware Teacher of the Year, and her older brother talk about what it means to be a highly effective teacher… and learn about each other in the process

John Arthur and Kathy Anderson

John Arthur, the 2021 Utah Teacher of the Year and one of four National Teacher of the Year Finalists, talks with his 9th grade English teacher, Kathy Anderson, about her career in the classroom and how she inspired him to become a teacher.

Jennifer Wolfe and Audrey Miller

Jennifer Wolfe, the 2021 New York Teacher of the Year, interviews Audrey Miller, who teaches Digital Technology and Communications at Oceanside High School. Together they talk about teaching, why they love it, why kids need teachers especially now in the era of COVID sequester, and what it takes to be an effective teacher for kids today.

Alisa Cooper de Uribe and Mary Trinidad Uribe Tolar

Mary Trinidad Uribe Tolar talks with talks with her sister-in-law, Alisa Cooper de Uribe about her teaching career in New Mexico. Mary shares how her experience as a student in the Mexico City area inspired her to foster students’ love for learning in classrooms that ranged from kindergarten to the university level. Alisa shares how Mary’s encouragement and foresight laid the foundation for her own work in education, which includes being named the 2021 New Mexico Teacher of the Year.

Donnie Piercey and Jeff Heil

Donnie Piercey, the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, listens to his friend Jeff Heil reflect on his 25 year career teaching students in a homeless shelter in San Diego.

Analyn Palugod and Marites Del Castillo Garcia

Analyn Palugod, 2021 Guam Teacher of the Year, reconnects with her favorite and former third grade teacher Marites Garcia.

Lachanda Garrison and Joshua Garrison

2021 Department of Defense Education Activity Teacher of the Year Lachanda Garrison interviews fellow educator and husband Dr. Joshua Garrison for Teacher Appreciation Week.

Kristi Borge and Linda Marsh

Kristi Borge, the 2021 Montana Teacher of the Year and a multi-grade teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in southwest Montana, visits with her supervisor and mentor Linda Marsh, who is the Beaverhead County Superintendent of schools.

Lori Miki Kwee and Jen Moku

2021 Hawaii Teacher of the Year Lori Miki Kwee has a conversation with Jennifer Moku, who she describes as a school librarian, colleague, and good friend. Their conversation spans many topics, including gratitude and inspiration.

Ashley Adamson and Victoria Travis

Ashley Adamson, the 2021 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year, speaks with her co-teacher, Victoria Travis, about their shared co-teaching experience, their early teaching inspirations, and so much more.

Celebrating AAPI Voices

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities encompass a wide range of cultures and lived experiences, and each one is an important part of the American narrative. Their stories are American stories, and their voices deserve to be heard. That’s why we’re highlighting a few of the stories from our AAPI participants, to help people find connection and understanding by amplifying their words.

Whose voices do you want to see included in the narratives of Asian American and Pacific Islander history? By sitting down with someone you love for a StoryCorps conversation, you’re showing them that their stories matter and preserving them for generations.

StoryCorps Connect makes it possible to interview a loved one remotely and then upload it to the StoryCorps archive at the Library of Congress.


No More Questions!

Strong-willed Kay Wang allowed her son and granddaughter to ask her a few brief questions about her adventures in life — from disobeying her mother and rebuffing suitors while growing up in China to late-life escapades as a detective for Bloomingdale’s.


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“When I buy a new book, I don’t start reading the first page. I smell it.”
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A Love Story in 10,000 Books

Alagappa Rammohan has amassed enough books over the course of his life to fill a small library. He shares his love of the written word with his daughter, Paru Venkat, and his plans to donate all of his books to his hometown in India.


Lola’s Work

Kenneth Tan celebrates the life of grandmother, Crescenciana Tan, whom he called Lola. He remembers Lola’s hard work and unwavering commitment to her family. 


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“She wasn’t like the mothers of my friends...she lived and breathed dancing.”
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My Mother the Performer

In the late 1930’s, dancer Dorothy Toy debuted on Broadway with her partner Paul Wing. It capped years of hard work on the Vaudeville circuit and launched them to stardom. Decades later, her daughter Dorlie came to StoryCorps to remember her mother’s life and legacy.


Driving Lessons

Muhammad Faridi talks to his father about what it was like to grow up as the son of a NYC cab driver. Although he used to be embarrassed to talk about his family, Muhammad learned to be proud of his father’s work.


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“If I’m in front of a blank sheet of paper with a pencil, I find such solace.”
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From Internment to Disney

Willie Ito dreamed of becoming an animator, but his dreams were put on hold when his family was sent to a Japanese American internment camp. At StoryCorps, Willie reflects on his internment and his career as an animator at Disney


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“It wasn't your typical home. But it was a home for us.”
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Growing Up in the Hollywood Laundry Business

“We lived in the back of the laundry in Hollywood. It wasn’t your typical home. But it was a home for us.” Sisters Suzi and Donna Wong lived minutes from big movie studios, but a world away.


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"It was all about saving a life and not taking a life.”
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A Purple Heart Vet on What It Means To Be a “Hero”

U.S. Army veteran Richard Hoy tells his daughter, Angel, about serving as a medic during the Vietnam War.


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“Because she was Asian, they wouldn’t accept her. Mom said she didn’t care; she enlisted anyway.”
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Remembering One Tough Veteran: Lieutenant Susan Ahn Cuddy

Susan Ahn Cuddy was the first Asian American woman in the Navy and the first woman gunnery officer teaching air combat tactics. Her children, Flip and Christine, remember her as a tough, yet loving mother.


From the Archive

David and Sophie Wong

David Wong talks with his daughter Sophie about how his life has unfolded since he immigrated from China in the 1940s.


Gloria Park and Julia Kim

Gloria Park talks with her daughter Julia Kim about creating meaning in their personal lives, ideas around home, and self care.


Julia Tinker and Carlene Tanigoshi Tinker

Julia Tinker and her mother Carlene Tanigoshi Tinker talk about their respective Japanese American identities. They also discuss Carlene’s experience in an Amache internment camp, dealing with racism, and returning to Amache as an adult to help preserve the history of those interned.


Phu Van Huynh and Phu Huynh “Sam”

Phu Van Huynh talks with his brother Phu Huynh “Sam” about his experience being incarcerated for 25 years. The two brothers talk about apologies, their family, their past gang involvement, and how Phu Van is helping to better his community after getting out of prison.


Stories to Celebrate Mother’s Day

Whether Mother’s Day is a happy or difficult day for you and yours, we’ve pulled together stories of motherhood in many different forms to offer you joy, peace, understanding, and a chance to think about the mother figures in your life and what they mean to you. As we approach Mother’s Day, enjoy three brand-new animations from our new season, “Listening to Mom.”

This Mother’s Day, give a mother figure in your life the gift of StoryCorps conversation and record her stories for generations. You can record in person using the StoryCorps App, or remotely using StoryCorps Connect.

New Animation Season: Listening to Mom

Stories that reflect on the mother figures in our lives and what they mean to us.


Lessons From Lourdes

Lourdes Villanueva grew up a daughter of migrant workers. Her family was constantly on the move, preventing Lourdes from receiving her high school diploma. Despite all the odds stacked against her, she was determined to earn her GED before her children received their high school diplomas. At StoryCorps, Lourdes sits down with her son Roger, who reflects on how his mom’s achievements inspired him.


Joyce’s Neighborhood

Growing up, Mary Mills didn’t have siblings to play with, but she was never lonely. At StoryCorps, Mary sits down with her mother Joyce to reflect on sharing her with the neighborhood kids.


Meet the Greenbergs

For Laura Greenberg, hugging, cursing, and oversharing were ways in which she and her family expressed love. At StoryCorps, she sits down with her daughter to reflect on their unconventional love language.


More Stories of Motherhood


Q&A

Joshua, who has Asperger syndrome, asks his mother a few questions that have been on his mind.


Gabe and Chris López

Gabe López remembers when things really changed for him as a transgender kid. With his mother by his side, he was never alone.


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“When I did get back home, my son didn’t recognize me.”
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Coming Home From the Corners of the World

Ever since Dr. Lora Koenig and Dr. Zoe Courville met in the middle of the Greenland ice sheet, their friendship has helped them navigate the challenges of their climate research work and parenting.


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"Nobody wanted to work with me."
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Climbing to the Top at ConEdison

Monica Harwell was the first woman to climb electric utility poles for ConEdison in New York, installing power lines dozens of feet in the air. She tells her daughter, Andrea Cleveland, about the challenges she faced.


A Mother’s Promise

Maria Rivas and her teenage daughter Emily prepare for the possibility of Maria returning to El Salvador if she is forced to leave the U.S.


Bonnie and Myra Brown

Bonnie Brown talks with her daughter Myra about living with an intellectual disability, and the powerful bond that the two of them share.


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"I spent eight hours a day putting hooks into bungee cords."
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MIT and Parenting, One Week at a Time

Mechanical engineer and MIT graduate Noramay Cadena tells her daughter, Chassitty Saldana, about what it was like to raise her while she was studying.


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“When I took you home, I didn’t know how to feel.”
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Not a Fairytale, Not a Failure

April Gibson, 33, talks with her teenage son, Gregory Bess, about how she felt when he was born.


Alice and Ibukun

Alice Mitchell was 14 when her mother died unexpectedly, just two weeks after giving birth to her youngest child, Ibukun Owolabi. Ten years later, the siblings discuss losing their mother for the first time.


Me & You

Jackie’s life changed when she and her husband adopted their son, Scott. She shares with Scott for the first time what led her to make that decision. They reflect on their love for one another.


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“I struggled with, maybe I should have stayed away.”
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Uncovering Family Secrets

Lisa Bouler Daniels tells her biological brother Benjamin Chambers what it was like to learn about her birth mother after she passed away.
Warning: The following story discusses sexual assault.


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"I heard her say, 'Don’t you be no sad mama for my grandbaby!'"
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Walking in a Mother’s Legacy

Sada Jackson sat down to learn about her late mother through her mom’s best friend, Angela Morehead-Mugita.


Want even more stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

Interviews from the Archive: Early Recordings

When StoryCorps launched in 2003, our first recording booth was located in New York’s iconic Grand Central Station. Later followed a booth at the World Trade Center, and another in Foley Square, in downtown Manhattan. And, as a result, for the first few years of our existence, StoryCorps stories were the stories of New York. Here we share a few interviews from the early years of StoryCorps. Listen to participants eagerly talk about their lives, their relationships, their histories, and, in many cases, the city that they called home.

Want to add the stories of your life to the StoryCorps Archive? You can record a StoryCorps conversation now in person through the StoryCorps App, or virtually with StoryCorps Connect. Don’t wait to share a meaningful conversation with someone you love, and preserve it for years to come.


The Art of Choosing a Name

Zoe Mizuho tells Hugh Ryan about his quest for self-naming and transitioning to his life as a man.


A Fool to Fall in Love WIth You

A mother and daughter, both actresses, share a captivating conversation about their time in New York and Venezuela, and the great loves of their lives.


A Life Centered Around the Water

When Denise was just 15, Julia Taylor swam from Coney Island to Staten Island. Now 94, she tells her granddaughter Denise about a life on the water, and how a canoe helped her meet the man she later married.


Being My Mother’s Mother

Helene Broomer speaks with daughter Rachelle about the experiences that have informed her life, including being a child of a Holocaust survivor, surviving breast cancer, and being agoraphobic.


The Life That Preceded You

Just before his 90th Birthday, a New York native is interviewed by his son, to preserve his life stories for the future generations of their family.


What You Learn in Life

Virginia talks to her son Charles about her experience in the work force, and working as a teacher with a teacher’s union.


The Longer I Live, the More I Can Enjoy

Douglas Sur interviews his mother, Maureen Mei Ling, about her experiences growing up in China, happy and frightening moments from her childhood, and her philosophy on life.


To Improve Your Dancing, Improve Your Living

Kathryn Adisman interviews her friend and former dance teacher, Mary Anthony, about her life and her many teachings.


Learning to Live Together

Kibo Yamashita interviews his parents, Hiroyuki and Maria, about having the same birthday, their first date, and being a multiracial couple.


There’s No License to Raise a Child

Tricia Nelson interviews her parents, Horace and Carol, about their decision to marry and immigrate to the United States at a very young age.


Want to listen to more StoryCorps stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

Love Letters to Libraries for National Library Week

This week is National Library Week, and we are delighted to dedicate a week to honoring spaces that hold stories that shape us. Listen to a collection of stories that celebrate libraries and the many ways they have inspired us. 

Want even more stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

The Temple of Knowledge

Ronald Clark’s father was custodian of a New York Public Library branch during a time when caretakers and their families lived on-premises. Ronald recalls how a childhood surrounded by books expanded his horizons.

Eyes on the Stars

Ronald E. McNair was a physicist aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger when it exploded seconds after takeoff. His brother remembers how Ronald spent his life challenging societal norms, starting when he was nine years old at the Lake City Public Library.

The Treasures of Mrs. Grady’s Library

Judge Olly Neal recounts how a book cover — and a little nudge from two helpful librarians — turned him around academically and changed the course of his life.

The Bookmobile

Storm Reyes was working full-time at a migrant work camp at age 8. She remembers the day a bookmobile arrived, and the world was suddenly at her fingertips.

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“When I buy a new book, I don’t start reading the first page. I smell it.”
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A Love Story in 10,000 Books

Alagappa Rammohan has amassed enough books over the course of his life to fill a small library. He shares with his daughter, Paru Venkat, his love for the written word.

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“You see that spark that you put in this child?”
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For the Love of Books: One Librarian Makes All the Difference

Brooklyn Public Library serves an incredibly broad community of over 2.5 million people. Richelet Jean and his young daughter Abigail give thanks to local librarian Hasina Islam for igniting Abigail’s love of reading.


In this national moment of uncertainty, conversations like these are crucial to help us feel connected. Have a meaningful conversation with a loved one through StoryCorps Connect, a free platform that enables you to record a StoryCorps interview remotely using video conference technology. Learn more at StoryCorpsConnect.org.

Wisdom and Poetry from Everyday People

National Poetry Month 2022 offers an opportunity to celebrate the role of poetry in our lives. Here at StoryCorps, we believe that you can find wisdom and poetry in the voices of the people all around you. Discover beauty and poetry, including personal stories from poets and artists, by listening to the conversations below.

You also have a story worth telling.
Are you ready to share it?

Tell someone you love about your life through StoryCorps conversation, and preserve your stories for generations to come. You can record in person using the StoryCorps App, or remotely using StoryCorps Connect.

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“Everybody has a story that could change the outlook of life for somebody else.”
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“I Want to Shock the World”

Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, specializing in novels and poetry for young adults and kids, as well as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. But before the awards, he was a StoryCorps facilitator. He shared how his mom encouraged his voice, his dreams for the future, and how the stories of everyday people inspire him.

Read the full transcript here.

“Working as a StoryCorps facilitator was a constant source of inspiration. My time with StoryCorps showed me that every single person has a story, and every one of our stories has the potential to change somebody’s outlook on life.”

-Jason Reynolds

Find Inspiration From These StoryCorps Conversations

Sundays at Rocco’s

For many years, Rocco Galasso proudly served as the owner and superintendent of an apartment building where much of his family lived. His grandson Nicholas remembers when everything changed.


Miss Devine

For cousins James Ransom and Cherie Johnson, there was only one woman who scared them more than their grandmother: Miss Devine, the Sunday School teacher. The cousins came to StoryCorps to chat about their memories of her.


Leading the Way

John Washington, 95, was born blind and with a severe loss of hearing. He sat down with his eldest child to laugh over some of their childhood hijinks.


The Saint of Dry Creek

As a teenager, Patrick Haggerty began to understand he was gay — something he thought he was hiding well. One day, he learned that his father could see him more clearly than he realized.


From the Archive

These interviews reflect on the importance of poetry, the written word, and art in the lives of StoryCorps participants. From people who identify as artists or poets to people who exist with art entwined into their own stories of origin, we have selected a few conversations that show the importance of creativity in our lives.

To Capture and Elevate the Mundane

Poet and writer Gary Holthaus is interviewed by his daughter Stephanie about his life writing poetry and how he became a published poet.


Jazz Is a Cooperative Venture

Thomas Rushin, age 77, is interviewed by his two grandsons Jason Irr, age 19, and James Irr, age 25, about his life as a jazz percussionist and sculptor, and what the arts taught him about life.


A Picture and a Poem

Teresita Fernández and Matthew Zepruder talk about their respective mediums of practiced art, and their recent work together where Fernández created a visual piece, “Keyhole (Landscape),” in response to Zepruder’s poem, “Poem for a Coin.”


“They Call It the Po-Biz for a Reason”

Ed Hall has a conversation with friend, colleague, and fellow poet, Felton Eaddy, about Felton’s childhood in Fork, South Carolina. They chat about Felton’s education, his work with the Fulton County Arts Commission, and the Atlanta Poetry Kitchen, which Felton hosts on a monthly basis.


My Year of Saying Yes

Joel Showalter and his husband Anthony Baker talk about their marriage and the way creativity plays a role in their connection. They talk about the penny wall that was at their wedding and the way the theme of saying “yes” has been present in their relationship.


Alborada

Nylda Dieppa and her friend Maritza Pratt explore Nylda’s collection of poems, “Alborada: A Poetic Memoir Across Cultures,” reading and examining how experiences of culture, motherhood, marriage, separation, heartbreak, and resilience have shaped Nylda’s life.


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Interviews From The Archive: COVID-19 Stories

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. Through StoryCorps, loved ones recorded conversations about struggling and finding hope through these difficult times. Listen to a few of these stories from the StoryCorps Archive.

Want to reflect on the past couple years with someone you love? You can record a StoryCorps conversation now in person through the StoryCorps App, or virtually with StoryCorps Connect. Don’t wait to share a meaningful conversation with someone you love, and preserve it for years to come.


A Friendship Created at a Clinic

Delya Bull and Toni Love share their cancer journey, friendship and the community of support they found at Charlotte Maxwell Clinic.


Mothers of two different generations share Their experiences

Abigail Dove shared a conversation with her mother, Janet Strain about pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic and being a new mother.


A Pastor and His Neighbor Talk About Adapting to COVID-19

Pastor Scott Ancarrow talks with his neighbor, Lisa Greenhouse about how the church has adapted to online services, the increasing need of pastoral counseling during these times and the difficulty in navigating covid protocols.


Two Educators Discuss Teaching Through the Pandemic

Spouses Kristen Tordella-Williams and Matthew Holl discuss their experiences as teachers during COVID-19, and the challenges they have encountered.


A marine biologist reflects on her participation in COVID vaccine trials

Aaron Fisher speaks with his wife Rachel Fisher reflecting on her experiences as a Marine Biologist researching sea turtles, and as a participant in a COVID-19 vaccine trial.


Two community servers on Providing Food to Those in Need

Coworkers Brian Hillmer and Kevin Conner discuss the various changes that came to Community Servings, a food nutrition program that provides food to those critically ill. They also talk about the effort to keep both clients and deliverers safe and positive things that they have learned during the pandemic.


Major Plans Shift for Two Best Friends

College classmates Molly Flanagan and Madison Lee describe the surreal moment that they realized that they were being sent home due to the pandemic during their study abroad experiences. They also discuss the abrupt shutting down of their respective countries and their transition back home.


Caring for Our Caregivers

Dr. Saloumeh Bozorgzadeh has a conversation with her colleague, Dr. Kimiya Amjadi, about how they have mobilized during the pandemic to provide mental health resources for healthcare workers.


Connecting to their Heritage and to the pandemic

Ivonne Romo speaks with her friend Juan Galeano about their Latino/a backgrounds and how the organizations they work with have been affected by the pandemic.


“We’re Surviving”

Partners Ronald Ramirez and Katherine Baeur talk about getting Covid-19, experiencing loss and navigating the world of virtual learning with their three children during the pandemic. The express hopes for the future and lessons learned during the past year.


Want to listen to more StoryCorps stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

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