The beginning of the new year is about reflecting on the end of some stories and looking forward to the beginning of others. The StoryCorps New Years collection highlights fresh starts, goals set and goals achieved, and the bittersweet feelings of change. As you enter 2023, we hope this collection of stories can inspire and excite the beginning of new ones.
The Icing on the Cake
Blanca Alvarez worked tirelessly to make ends meet after immigrating to the U.S. She and her daughter, Connie, share how watching her mother struggle inspired her to pursue her goals. Read the full transcript.
The Road Home
Eddie Lanier struggled with alcoholism for over 40 years, until his 28th stint in rehab finally led to sobriety. Homeless and hungry, Eddie found a friend in David Wright, a passerby whose frequent donations stood out. Read the full transcript.
Marking the Distance
Gweneviere Mann lost her short-term memory following surgery to remove a brain tumor. But she wasn’t alone. With the support of her boyfriend, Yasir Salem, Gweneviere found she could tackle the challenges her condition threw her way — and a few more. Read the full transcript.
A Second Chance
A high school honors student in 1997, Darius Clark Monroe wanted to help his family get out of financial trouble. So he robbed a bank in Stafford, Texas at gunpoint with two of his friends. Read the full transcript.
Lyle Link felt like a disappointment when he told his father he couldn’t follow him into farming. But he found his purpose as a lifelong partner to his wife Marion. Read the full transcript.
Lessons From Lourdes
Lourdes Villanueva grew up a daughter of migrant workers. Her family was constantly on the move, which prevented Lourdes from receiving her high school diploma. Despite the odds stacked against her, Lourdes was determined to complete her education all while balancing working in the fields and parenting her children. Read the full transcript.
Hand in Hand
Growing up in Wyoming in the 1950s, Sissy Goodwin started wearing his sister’s dresses. At first, he hid his clothing preferences, but when he shared that part of himself with his soon-to-be wife, Vickie, she supported him. Read the full transcript.
The Treasure’s of Mrs. Grady’s library
Judge Olly Neal grew up in Arkansas during the ’50s and didn’t care much for high school. One day he wandered into the library, where he came across a book by Black author Frank Yerby. The cover piqued his interest, but Olly didn’t want to risk his reputation by letting his classmates see him voluntarily reading. So rather than check out the book, he stole it. He recounts how this book — and a little nudge from two helpful librarians — turned him around academically. Read the full transcript.
Both Ends of the Gun
On January 21st, 1995, 20-year-old Tariq Khamisa, a student at San Diego State University, was out delivering a pizza, when a gang tried to rob him. Things escalated, and at the urging of an older gang member, 14-year-old Tony Hicks shot and killed Tariq. Read the full transcript.
The Tallapoosa Possum Drop
Bud and Jackie Jones, career taxidermists from Tallapoosa, Georgia, helped establish a completely different kind of New Year’s Eve tradition in their small town — the possum drop. Read the full transcript.