♪♪ (young person speaking Spanish) (translated) I would like to have peace between the two countries. ♪♪ (girl speaking Spanish) I would tell the kids of the United States that Cuba is a good country. (girl 2 speaking Spanish) I feel really happy because I feel it's going to get better between the two countries. ♪♪ (boy speaking Spanish) I think there will be good changes in Cuba. ♪♪ We are so close. We should be having a better relationship. ♪♪ (music changes) (announcer) This is "Nick News" with Linda Ellerbee. ♪♪ Now here is Linda Ellerbee. The island country of Cuba is just 90 miles off the coast of the state of Florida. That is close. Which is tricky. Because officially, the U.S. is a capitalist society and officially, Cuba is a communist society, and so the two countries have been enemies for more than 50 years. But the world changes, and recently, President Obama and Cuban president Raul Castro have begun to work to find ways to bring the two countries closer together. What will it be like to be a kid in Cuba tomorrow? Begin with this. What's it like to be a kid in Cuba today? We went to Cuba to find out. ♪♪ (boy 3 speaking Spanish) I'm proud of being Cuban. (speaking Spanish) For me, Cuba is happiness, joy. It's everything. (speaking Spanish) The first thing that comes to my mind is patriotism and how Cuba helps other countries. (boy 4 speaking Spanish) What I like about being Cuban is that we could have any kind of problem and we come out of it with joy and music. Instead of staying home and being sad, we come out into the streets. (young person 2) Cuban people are always joyful people. They're always happy. (young person 3) Cuba is an underdeveloped country, but it's a free country. (girl 1) Here in Cuba, the schools, everything is free and all the kids have the same rights for everything. (boy 1) I like that I can have medicine above all and medical attention without having to pay for any costs. The best part about growing up here in Cuba is the sports. When I grow up, I want to be a great baseball player. (young person 4 speaking Spanish) What I like about Cuba is Cuban music. That is what makes me feel Cuban. (speaking Spanish) What I like the most about Cuba is its landscapes and its beaches. (young person 5 speaking Spanish) The most beautiful thing about Cuba is the dance. (young person 6) For me, the most beautiful part of Cuba is the people. ♪♪ (Ellerbee) But what are some of the things Cuban kids would change about their country if they could? ♪♪ (girl 3) Havana is a beautiful place. What I would change about Cuba, about Havana, its dirty places. I would like to have more clean places. Like my neighborhood. In every corner, I find a lot of garbage on the street and a lot of people don't understand that that's a bad thing. And that's why we have so many diseases in Havana. (speaking Spanish) The streets. They're in really bad shape. (engine revving) And there are some buildings that are in bad shape and need to be restored. (continues in Spanish) Above all, I would like for us to be able to travel to many more places and to travel to other countries that aren't my own as well. (girl 2 speaking Spanish) I would like to have the chance to go easily to the United States. (speaking Spanish) I think people living in the United States, their lives might be a little bit different, but I think I would like to stay here in Cuba. ♪♪ (Ellerbee) How did Cuba and the U.S. become enemies in the first place? Cuba was run by a dictator supported by the United States until 1959, when Cuban rebels led by Fidel Castro overthrew that dictator, promising freedom and equality for all. The rebels also took over all businesses in Cuba owned by companies in the U.S. Castro then had a choice between negotiating a new alliance with the United States or joining with the communist-run Soviet Union, America's most powerful enemy. Castro chose the Soviet Union and communism, a system that aims to replace private property with public ownership. The U.S. retaliated by shutting off diplomatic relations with a communist Cuba and enacting an embargo, which meant it was illegal for U.S. companies to do business with Cuba or for individual Americans to spend money in Cuba or even to visit there. From that point, a wall existed between the two countries, a wall much bigger than the 90 miles of water that separates them. Until now. ♪♪ (girl 1 speaking Spanish) My reaction now that Cuba can have a relationship with the United States, it was something like, "Yay, finally." (girl 3 speaking Spanish) The embargo has been affecting us a lot. The embargo makes it hard to buy food or medicine, the necessities we need. (girl 4 speaking Spanish) We don't live in the same way. We don't have the same things. (speaking Spanish) Maybe they get to live in big houses, beautiful houses, and we don't get to live in these kind of houses. (continues in Spanish) I think if the people in the United States change their opinion about Cuba and they change the embargo, maybe the relationship can get better. (young person 7 speaking Spanish) I think things are going to change pretty soon. I think tourists are coming to Cuba now. I think we are going to improve our economy. (boy 5 speaking Spanish) I would like for the relationship to get better because both countries would benefit, not only economically, but also culturally. ♪♪ (class speaking Spanish) (boy 8 speaking Spanish) I like to study and study. I want to study to be a lawyer to defend others' human rights for a fair cause. Last year, I got hundreds on every subject in school. (class singing) I really like school and participate in the different tournaments and contests we have in school and I'm always getting awards. (teacher speaking Spanish, boy 8 continues in Spanish) I used to play baseball at school, then I changed to play handball, which is what I'm doing right now. I like this sport more. (boys chant, clap) It is important for every school to have sports because it forces you to always be active and not gain too much weight. ♪♪ (continues in Spanish) My favorite part of the day is when I come home and see my brother and my mom waiting there for me. (continues in Spanish) My house is big, with three floors. It has a patio and a terrace. And what I like most about it is my room. It is the cleanest one of all the rooms. I have two rats. One is named Sabrina and the other is Stewart. I have a turtle. I have two dogs. My brother, he's good with me, always helping me with classes, and if not , he lets me play anything with him. ♪♪ One of the most beautiful things about Cuba is the Museum of the Revolution. The Revolution is what occurred on January 1, 1959, called the Triumphant Revolution, where we gained freedom thanks to Fidel and Raul Castro with Che and others. They created history and will remain in the hearts of the Cuban people. (continues in Spanish) Socialism is something where you help others the way Cuba does with other countries. For instance, we're sending Cuban doctors to fight Ebola, a global sickness. It is an epidemic and we have to destroy it. (continues in Spanish) When I think of Cuba, I think of liberty, peace and tranquility in the world and hope that Cuba and the United States keep a friendly relationship. The relationship can get better with time. The relationship depends on if they compromise. (singing in Spanish) (speaking Spanish) When I sing, I feel happy and content. (continues singing) (speaking Spanish) I like music very much. What I like to listen to the most is opera. Music lets me express my feelings because with it, I can make a person fall in love with me. My girlfriend is named Dalia and we have been together four months. We live in the same neighborhood. (Dalia speaking Spanish) Marcos is a really joyful person. He's always happy. He's always taking care of his friends. I wouldn't change a thing about Marcos. (speaking Spanish) What I like about my neighborhood is that I get along with all of my neighbors. I have lived there since I was born and every time I rehearse, they tell me how well I sing. They motivate me to move forward and they support me always. ♪♪ I am proud of living in a united country, a place where everyone helps each other. (continues in Spanish) In my opinion, socialism is a community where we share however we can, where we all have the same rights, the same responsibilities and where we take on the same tasks regardless of our rankings. ♪♪ I am part of the Communist Youth Union. Being part of the Communist Youth Union means that when we reach adulthood, we can become part of the government. I feel like a student who is recognized, because you have to be a student who fulfills all of his responsibilities and that knows and recognizes when something is wrong and who fights against what is wrong. ♪♪ (continues in Spanish) Of Cuba's future, I think we have to better ourselves more, but we are doing so a little bit at a time, by all that our government is doing to help. (continues in Spanish) I would like to have a little bit more access to the Internet, because I would like to have access to information, like information about jobs or music. I could look up history. Also to be informed about everything that's happening in the world. But I think that to be in front of a computer the entire day could be damaging. (continues in Spanish) It's also a good idea to practice sports, to sing, to listen to music, to go to a museum, because those things make you open up your mind to society and to the world you live in. (continues in Spanish) In the future, first I would like to go to college. I would like to focus on communication or journalism and also music. I don't have to be too famous. I just want people to know me and know what it is I do. I would like to do it here in Cuba because of Cuba's roots in the music that I love. (ends song on a high note) (Ellerbee) Cuba's art is everywhere and, it seems, by everyone, including the art of creating new ways of helping one another and new concepts, like the art of recycling. ♪♪ I think art is part of the Cuban people and part of how we live in Cuba. I think that when people paint the murals on the walls, it is because they like to express themselves. They like to make the city beautiful. I am in the community project Granma. It is a community project for kids. We come here to make figures out of papier-mâché and to paint as well. I come here because I like to express what I'm thinking. ♪♪ (speaking Spanish) One day, I took a table, placed it outside my house on the street, and suddenly, three kids came to me asking for some help for some homework for school. Then three more came. Then, after three months, I had 13 to 15 kids here. ♪♪ (continues in Spanish) My name is Lazaro. I live in central Havana. This is my house and this is recycling with art and news. (continues in Spanish) The project has been going on for four years. The kids, they come here, they interact with other kids and they get educated, and they learn how to recycle, which is my work, and what my efforts are all about. (continues in Spanish) They feel like this is their home, like they're in a garden for kids in a park. This is not about telling them what's right or wrong. This is all about freedom. It's all about creation. Art. (Ellerbee) Cuban kids seem happy in general. They have a good school system, a vibrant culture and a strong family structure at the center of their lives. (speaking Spanish) The first thing that comes to mind when I hear people talk of Cuba is a mother that saw me born and saw me grow. It is where I learned it all, where I grew up as a person. ♪♪ (girl 5 speaking Spanish) The Cuban family plays an important role. They like to help each other and they love socializing. I love my family. They always want what's best for me. (speaking Spanish) In the future, it's what they're going to remember. (continues in Spanish) I feel really proud when I see my kids and my family together on the weekends, and I get to cook breakfast for them. This is one of the things that make me forget about the limitations we have. (boy 4 speaking Spanish) We are not a very developed country, and this limits us. Some problems that I see in Cuba that I wish could be changed would be the salary of some jobs. Also, there are some living spaces in Havana that are in bad shape and could be fixed. (man) One of the things that should be changed in Cuba would be the possibility to trade with countries that are closer to the island. Right now, most of the products get imported from Europe and China and that makes the products have higher prices. It would be easier for us to have access to different products and lower prices if Cuba had the possibility to trade with the United States. ♪♪ (boy 4) I would love for this problem to be resolved. I would like to think of that country as a friend. (man speaking Spanish) The announcement was surprising when Barack Obama and Raul Castro told us the news. It wasn't just the news of the year, but maybe the whole lifetime for the Cuban people, so I would like to recognize the bravery of Barack Obama and Raul Castro for bringing these two nations together. ♪♪ (boy 4) When I hear people talk about the United States, I think of big buildings and technology. (girl 5) I would like to visit New York City because I've heard it's a beautiful place. (boy 4) I think it would be difficult to get visas to go to the United States. The relationship with the United States still has not been fixed. (girl 5 speaking Spanish) I think I wouldn't change a thing about the Cuban government's role, because they've always been teaching us how to keep our minds to Cuban history and how to be faithful to the Cuban roots. (all chanting) (boy 4 speaking Spanish) To me, socialism is defined as, to all and for the good of all. It is everyone being happy with what they have. It means to find a way where we are all equal, or something like that. (speaking Spanish) I think the life of an American kid my age would be different because maybe they have different possibilities. I'm talking about the economy, so I think that would be a little different from the life we have. I think that if the relationship between the two countries gets better, I think we'll have different possibilities in the future here. (man) I would like to see all these new changes in Cuba, but I wouldn't like to see the achievements of the revolution thrown away. Because of education for free, a healthcare system for free, the way the Cuban family lives all together, those are achievements that we must preserve. ♪♪ (girl 2 speaking Spanish) I would like American kids to come to Cuba so that way I can meet them and learn about their lives. (girl 4) I would like to ask an American girl how they live, how are the schools over there? What do they do? What would they like to do when they get older? (speaking Spanish) What would he like to change about this country and what makes him happy there? (girl 1 speaking Spanish) They can see our culture, the way we live, and they can see that a lot of the things that they are told about our country aren't true. (speaking Spanish) When he's about to leave, I would see his face to see how he liked his time in Cuba. (speaking Spanish) Then I would like him to take me to his country and see if it's the same. (boy 3 speaking Spanish) I think all kids are the same. It doesn't matter where you come from or who you are. What's only important is friendship and the values that you have. ♪♪ (speaking Spanish) I want for us to be friends. In this show, we have had glimpses into the lives of some of Cuba's kids, but that is all. Glimpses. We do not know them. We do not know what choices they will make tomorrow. But their world, their lives, are going to change. And the thing to remember is that whatever happens between our two countries is not going to happen overnight. I'm Linda Ellerbee. Good-bye for Nick News. ♪♪ (men singing in Spanish) ♪♪ (men singing in Spanish) ♪♪ >> male announcer: THIS IS NICK NEWS WITH LINDA ELLERBEE. NOW FROM NEW YORK, HERE IS LINDA ELLERBEE. >> DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS ABUSE, PHYSICAL OR EMOTIONAL, USED BY ONE MEMBER OF A FAMILY OR HOUSEHOLD ON ANOTHER. RIGHT NOW, WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT PARENTS ABUSING KIDS, ALTHOUGH, AS WE ALL KNOW, IT HAPPENS. AT THE MOMENT, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT PARENTS ABUSING EACH OTHER, A SUBJECT OFTEN HIDDEN WITHIN FAMILIES BUT WHICH GOES ON IN ALL RACES, ECONOMIC SITUATIONS, AND FAMILY CONFIGURATIONS. WHAT FOLLOWS ARE STORIES FROM KIDS WHO'VE BEEN CAUGHT IN THIS KIND OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. THESE KIDS ARE NOW SAFE, AND THEY WANT TO BREAK THEIR SILENCE. THEY WANT THEIR STORIES TO BE HEARD. WE WANT TO HEAR THEM. >> THIS IS THE HOUSE I GREW UP IN. WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, MY PARENTS USED TO ARGUE ALL THE TIME. IT WOULD START OVER THE LITTLEST THING, AND THEN IT WOULD ESCALATE INTO YELLING AND FIGHTING AND THEN HITTING. >> I WOULD BE SCARED. LIKE, I WOULD HEAR BANGING ON THE WALLS. I WOULD HIDE UP UNDER MY COVER. >> WE HID BACK IN THE ROOM. YOU WOULD HEAR MY MOM SAYING, "NO, DON'T DO THAT. DON'T--DON'T--" AND THEN YOU COULD HEAR, LIKE, HIM PUNCHING MY MOM IN THE FACE AND STUFF. >> IT WAS VERY UNPREDICTABLE. WE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT. WE ARE CHELSEA, ELIJAH, AND EMILY, AND WE ARE FROM TENNESSEE. >> THERE WAS ALWAYS A SILENCE AFTER AN ARGUMENT OR AFTER SOMEBODY GOT HIT, AND IT WOULD JUST HAPPEN AGAIN AND AGAIN. MY NAME IS ZACH, AND I LIVE IN NEW YORK STATE. MY MOM'S BOYFRIEND MOVED IN WITH US WHEN I WAS ABOUT SIX, AND THERE WAS ARGUMENTS THAT THEY'D START OFF PRETTY IMMEDIATELY. I ALWAYS THOUGHT IT WAS SOMETHING NORMAL, BUT WHEN IT ESCALATED INTO ALL THE HITTING AND ALL THE PUSHING AROUND AND IT WAS ARGUING EVERY SINGLE DAY, CONSTANTLY, I KNEW IT WASN'T SOMETHING NORMAL. >> WHEN MY MOTHER AND I WERE LIVING WITH HER BOYFRIEND, THE WAY HE WAS ACTING WASN'T HURTING ME EMOTIONALLY, BUT MY MOTHER BEING HURT WAS HURTING ME EMOTIONALLY BECAUSE SHE WAS ALL THAT I HAD. MY NAME IS VARIAN. I LIVE IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA. HE THREW MY MOTHER AROUND A LOT, AND I SAW HIM PUNCHING HER AND PUSHING HER AND THROWING HER DOWN THE STEPS. I WAS SCARED THAT EVENTUALLY HE WAS GONNA KILL HER, BECAUSE IT WAS GETTING REALLY EXTREME. >> WHEN MY DAD WAS LIVING WITH US, HE WOULD ALWAYS WANT CONTROL OF US. HE NEVER WANTED MY MOM TO GO ANYWHERE. HE ALWAYS WANTED MY MOM TO COOK, CLEAN, AND JUST STAY IN THE HOUSE. MY NAME IS ZOJA, AND I LIVE IN NEW YORK STATE. WHEN MY MOM DID MAKE HURT, HE SAYS, "IT'S, LIKE-- THAT'S NOT WHAT I WANTED." AND THEN HE-- HE STARTED BEATING HER. I WOULD TAKE MY SISTER INTO HER ROOM TO NOT HEAR THEM, LIKE, FIGHTING AND STUFF, AND I WOULD TELL HER, "IT WILL BE ALL RIGHT. NOTHING'S HAPPENING." IT WAS SCARY. >> I'M AN ONLY CHILD, SO I WAS BASICALLY HIDING BY MYSELF, AND I FELT SO ALONE. MY NAME IS SOPHIA, AND I LIVE IN IOWA. MY DAD WAS A REALLY GOOD GUY. IT WAS JUST THE ALCOHOL PROBLEMS THAT HE HAD THAT KIND OF TOOK CONTROL OF HIS MIND. MY MOM WOULD THROW THINGS AND SCREAM, AND MY DAD WOULD PUSH HER, PIN HER DOWN, SOMETIMES CHOKE HER. >> WE GET VIOLENT, LIKE, TRYING TO PUNCH EACH OTHER, BECAUSE I FEEL ANGRY THROUGH HIM, AND I DON'T CARE IF HE PUNCH ME. "OKAY, I PUNCH YOU TOO." YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? MY NAME IS ANAYI. I AM SOPHIA'S MOM. >> THEY'D YELL, "I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN. I REGRET MEETING YOU," WHICH MADE ME FEEL EVEN WORSE, BECAUSE IF THEY NEVER MET, THEY WOULD'VE NEVER HAD ME. >> WE LIVED IN A SMALL APARTMENT, SO WHEN HE WAS ABUSING HER, I TRIED TO DISTRACT MYSELF BY WATCHING TELEVISION OR READING, BUT I NEVER WANTED TO LEAVE THE ROOM BECAUSE I WAS ALWAYS AFRAID THAT HE WOULD TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL AND HARM HER MORE. >> YOU COULDN'T GO ANYWHERE OR DO ANYTHING WITHOUT HIS SAY-SO. LIKE, MY MOM, IF SHE WAS, LIKE, FIVE MINUTES LATE, HE'D HIT HER WITH 100 QUESTIONS, AND THEN HE WOULD TURN IT INTO A FIGHT. >> I BELIEVE THAT EACH ONE OF US IN THIS HOUSE WERE TRYING TO FIND WAYS TO MAKE HIM HAPPY. PERSONALLY, I WOULD CLEAN. I FELT LIKE IF I DID MORE, THEY WOULD ARGUE LESS, BUT HE WAS UNPLEASABLE. >> WHEN MY MOTHER'S BOYFRIEND WAS ABUSING HER, I WOULD TRY DEFENDING HER AND TRYING TO FIND WAYS TO GET HIM OFF OF HER, BUT I DON'T THINK THAT'S THE BEST WAY THAT A CHILD SHOULD DEAL WITH THE SITUATION, BECAUSE THE ABUSER DOESN'T HAVE SELF-CONTROL OVER THEIR ANGER, AND THE CHILD COULD GET HURT AS WELL. >> I FELT VERY UNSAFE. SOMETIMES I WOULD SLEEP IN THE CLOSET. THE CLOSET WAS MY HIDING PLACE. >> I HATE MYSELF ALL THE TIME. I REALLY DO, 'CAUSE I NEVER TRIED TO DO SOMETHING. I WAS AFRAID TO BE ALONE. >> I WANTED TO HELP MY MOM. I WANTED TO TELL SOMEBODY THAT SHE NEEDS HELP. SHE NEEDS TO GET OUT-- GET OUT OF THIS. BUT I HAD NOBODY TO TELL-- ANYBODY. I FELT LIKE I WAS JUST DONE. LIKE, I HAD NOBODY. IT FELT LIKE I WAS IN PRISON AND I WAS IN A CAGE. I COULDN'T TELL NOBODY. I FELT ALONE. I FELT LIKE I WAS THE ONLY PERSON, LIKE, IN THIS OR WHO HAD THIS, SO I HAD NOBODY TO TELL MY FEELINGS ABOUT-- ABOUT MY FEELINGS. >> I REALLY WANTED TO LEAVE, BUT I NEVER TALKED TO MY MOM ABOUT WHAT WAS GOING ON. I DIDN'T KNOW HOW SHE FELT, AND I DIDN'T KNOW IF SHE WANTED TO LEAVE LIKE I DID. >> I DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO GET OUT OR WHAT TO DO, AND IT WAS JUST, LIKE, "LET ME JUST TRY TO MAKE PEACE IN THE HOUSE." MY NAME IS MARGARET, AND I'M ZACH'S MOTHER. THERE WOULD BE TIMES THAT HE WOULD SAY, IF WE LEFT, HE'D FIND US. HE'D HURT US. HE'D THREATEN US. >> I BELIEVE MY MOM STAYED BECAUSE SHE WANTED TO MAKE IT WORK. >> I DIDN'T WANT TO BE ALONE. I WANTED THAT SECURITY OF HAVING THE FATHER AND MY HUSBAND. MY NAME IS PENNY, AND I'M EMILY, ELIJAH, AND CHELSEA'S MOM. I WANTED TO HAVE SOMEONE THERE JUST TO LOVE ME, EVEN THOUGH IT MAY HAVE BEEN THE WRONG SITUATION AND NOT THE RIGHT TYPE OF LOVE, BUT YET, IT WAS STILL, TO ME, A LOVE. >> I WANTED HIM TO LEAVE, BUT I HAD ENOUGH SENSE TO KNOW THAT WE NEEDED HIM FINANCIALLY. >> WHEN MY PARENTS WOULD FIGHT, TO ME, THAT WAS NORMAL, 'CAUSE I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT A NORMAL PARENT WAS AT THE TIME. >> AS SOON AS I WENT TO MY FRIEND'S HOUSE, YOU KNOW, SEEING HOW HIS FAMILY WORKED AND STUFF, I WAS LIKE, "MY FAMILY'S REALLY STRANGE." LIKE, I JUST DIDN'T UNDERSTAND. >> I FELT LIKE WE HAD TO KEEP IT HIDDEN. WE KNEW IT WAS WRONG. WE KNEW THAT THE VIOLENCE WAS SOMETHING THAT MY DAD COULD GET IN TROUBLE FOR, SO WE JUST CHOSE NOT TO TELL, BECAUSE WE LOVED HIM. I MEAN, IT WAS OUR-- IT WAS OUR DAD. >> I JUST THOUGHT MAYBE IT WAS A FAMILY THING THAT I NEEDED TO KEEP A SECRET. IT GOT SO BAD ONE TIME, I WENT TO A SCHOOL COUNSELOR, BUT THEY DIDN'T REALLY HELP, BECAUSE I DIDN'T REALLY TELL HER WHAT WAS GOING ON, BECAUSE I FELT LIKE IF I SAID THEY WERE GETTING PHYSICAL-- AND THEY'D TAKE ME AWAY. >> WHILE MY HUSBAND AND I WERE FIGHTING, I WASN'T THINKING ABOUT WHAT MY CHILDREN MIGHT BE HEARING. I COME TO REALIZE THAT THEY DO HEAR EVERY LITTLE THING THAT GOES ON AND THAT THEY ARE VERY HIGHLY AFFECTED BY IT. >> I KNOW SOPHIA WAS AFFECTED. I MEAN, AND I KNEW IT. IT MADE ME FEEL HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, KNOWING... KNOWING SHE WAS AWARE IN THAT AND SEE THAT. >> AND I THOUGHT, "DO THEY LOVE ME? OR DO THEY NOT LOVE ME THAT MUCH TO STOP, TO KNOW THAT I WAS HURTING?" AND AS PARENTS, THEY SHOULD KNOW THAT I WAS HURTING. >> AS A KID, YOU FEEL HOPELESS, BECAUSE THE TWO PEOPLE YOU LOVE ARE ARGUING AND FIGHTING, AND YOU'RE JUST CONFUSED. IT'S JUST CRAZY. >> I WAS DEFINITELY ROBBED OF MY CHILDHOOD, LIKE, COMING HOME TO THAT EVERY SINGLE DAY. >> THERE WERE TIMES WHERE I JUST WANTED TO BE NORMAL. I JUST WANTED TO HAVE THAT CHILDHOOD THAT EVERYBODY ELSE HAD WHERE I COULD GO OUT AND TOSS A BALL WITH MY MOM'S BOYFRIEND AND HAVE THAT CONNECTION, BUT THERE WAS NEVER THAT CONNECTION AT ALL. >> I WOULD ALWAYS WANT A DAD THAT CARES, NOT JUST, LIKE, TO LEAVE LIKE I DON'T-- LIKE I'M NOT EVEN ALIVE-- I'M NOT EVEN THERE. I WOULD ALWAYS WANT ANOTHER DAD. >> THINGS CHANGED FOR ME WHEN I STARTED TO TALK ABOUT IT TO A FRIEND. SHE WAS MY NEIGHBOR, SO WHENEVER THEY STARTED FIGHTING, I'D JUST GO TO HER HOUSE. AND I TALKED ABOUT MY SITUATION TO HER. >> SOPHIA'S FRIEND TALKED TO HER MOM. HER MOM COME TO ME AND SAID, "DON'T BE AFRAID TO TALK. YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN HERE." THAT GIVE ME THE STRENGTH TO GET OUT FROM THIS SITUATION. FINALLY, I MADE MY DECISION TO DIVORCE HIM, TO HAVE A BETTER LIFE AND BE PEACEFUL. >> THE WAY WE GOT OUT OF THIS-- THE SITUATION WAS WHEN MY MOM CALLED A RELATIVE FOR HELP. WE WENT TO THE HOSPITAL, AND THE POLICE CAME AND TOOK PHOTOS OF HER BRUISES AND HANDS OF CHOKINGS HERE. I ASKED THE POLICE, "ARE WE GONNA GO BACK TO OUR DAD?" AND THEN HE SAID, "NO." WE GOT OUR STUFF, AND WE WENT TO A SHELTER. >> THE VIOLENCE ENDED WHEN MY MOM DECIDED TO MOVE OUT OF THE HOUSE AND TAKE US TO A SHELTER. >> WE WENT TO THE SHELTER BECAUSE IT'S A PLACE THAT PROTECTS AND OFFERS SERVICES TO WOMEN AND CHILDREN. WE HAD NO PLACE ELSE TO GO, NO FAMILY. WE DIDN'T HAVE ANY MONEY BECAUSE I HAD LOST MY JOB. >> AFTER THE FIRST WEEK BEING AT THAT SHELTER, I STARTED TO REALIZE THAT IT DID END, THAT HE WASN'T THERE ANYMORE AND THERE WAS NO MORE HITTING. >> AT SOME POINT, MY MOM GOT SICK OF BEING HURT CONSTANTLY, AND SHE REALIZED THAT THAT ISN'T HOW A RELATIONSHIP SHOULD BE. THAT'S WHEN SHE DECIDED TO LEAVE, AND ONE DAY, WE JUST LEFT AND JUST NEVER TURNED BACK. >> THE VIOLENCE STOPPED WHEN MY DAD WENT TO PRISON. HE WENT TO PRISON BECAUSE HE MURDERED MY MOTHER'S BEST FRIEND AND ALMOST MURDERED MY MOTHER. >> I WAS ANGRY ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED. LIKE, I WAS WONDERING, "WHY DID THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN ABOUT--LIKE, TO MY FAMILY?" >> I FELT LIKE I HAD FAILED WHEN MY DAD WENT TO JAIL. I FELT LIKE IF I WOULD'VE DONE MORE, MAYBE THEY WOULDN'T HAVE ARGUED AS MUCH. MAYBE IT WOULDN'T HAVE ESCALATED TO THAT. >> WE ALL FELT SAFER SINCE HE'S GONE, BUT, LIKE, LIVING IN THE SAME HOUSE, IT STILL BROUGHT BACK MEMORIES. >> YOU CAN CHANGE FROM A HOUSE WITH VIOLENCE INTO A SHELTER WHERE IT'S SAFE, BUT YOU CAN'T CHANGE ALL THE FEELINGS THAT YOU STILL HAD FROM THAT WHILE THE VIOLENCE WAS DONE. BUT I COULDN'T GET THE THOUGHTS OUT OF MY HEAD. >> WHEN ME AND MY MOTHER AND MY BROTHER MOVED INTO OUR OWN APARTMENT, I BEGAN TO WORRY THAT HE WOULD FIND US THERE, AND THAT WAS A BIG WORRY OF MINE FOR A REALLY LONG TIME. I WOULD SEE SOMETHING THAT-- OR SOMEONE WHO SORT OF LOOKED LIKE HIM OR REMINDED ME OF HIM, AND THEN I REMEMBER ALL THE THINGS THAT HE DID. >> I STILL WANT TO KNOW ANSWERS, AND I STILL WANT TO KNOW WHY. A PART OF ME WANTS TO BLAME HIM, AND ANOTHER PART OF ME WANTS TO FORGIVE HIM, BUT IT'S SO HARD. [soft piano music playing] ♪ >> TODAY, MY FAMILY LIVES IN AN APARTMENT ASSOCIATED WITH A SHELTER. I KNOW I'M SAFE, BUT THE PAST IS STILL HAUNTING ME. >> AND THEY'RE EACH GOING TO REPRESENT A DIFFERENT FEELING. ONCE A CHILD LEAVES A VIOLENT SITUATION WITH THEIR FAMILY, THERE'S A PROCESS OF RECOVERY THAT THEY ALL GO THROUGH. I'M MONICA IDEMA. I'M A YOUTH ADVOCATE AND COUNSELOR. I'VE BEEN WORKING WITH ZOJA FOR TWO YEARS. >> I NEVER BEEN LOVED FROM HIM. >> YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE YOU'VE BEEN LOVED BY HIM. WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO WITH ZOJA AND KIDS LIKE ZOJA IS PROVIDE THEM WITH A SAFE ENVIRONMENT THAT THEY CAN COME-- THEY CAN EXPRESS THEIR FEELINGS. YOU CALLED 911. NOW, YOU MUST HAVE BEEN REALLY SCARED. IT MUST HAVE BEEN A SCARY SITUATION THAT YOU FELT THAT YOU NEEDED TO CALL 911. YES? BUT YOU WERE BRAVE ENOUGH TO DO IT. WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? >> WHEN I SAW MY MOM BEING HURT... >> MM-HMM. >> I FELT THAT I SHOULD DO THE RIGHT THING AND TO HELP MY MOM. >> OKAY. >> I SAID, "PLEASE HELP," AND I TOLD THE ADDRESS. THEN THE POLICE CAME AND KNOCKED ON THE DOOR. AND MY DAD SAID, "OH, NOTHING HAPPENED. IT WAS JUST MY-- IT WAS JUST MY DAUGHTER WHO-- WHO TRIED TO PLAY WITH MY PHONE." >> IN ZOJA'S CASE, IT DIDN'T SOLVE THE PROBLEM RIGHT THEN. HOWEVER, IT DID STOP THE ABUSE FOR THAT EVENING. SHE MAY HAVE SAVED HER MOTHER'S LIFE. AND IT WASN'T LONG AFTER THAT THAT THE MOTHER DID DECIDE TO SEEK HELP AND TOOK HER FAMILY TO SHELTER. KNOWING HOW STRONG AND BRAVE YOU HAD TO BE IN THAT MOMENT, MAYBE THAT'S SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN USE NOW TO HELP YOU HEAL. >> TALKING ABOUT IT KIND OF FEELS UNCOMFORTABLE, BUT I KNOW IT'S THE RIGHT DECISION TO HELP MOVE ON. >> [together] 19, 20, 21, 22... >> MY LIFE NOW, I JUST GO TO SCHOOL, COME BACK HOME AND WATCH TV, READ BOOKS, PLAY WITH MY SISTER. I AM HAPPY. >> NOW MY FAMILY IS LIVING ON OUR OWN, AND WE HAVE OUR OWN HOUSE. IT'S LIKE I'M STARTING MY CHILDHOOD NOW. >> WE'RE LIVING EXAMPLES THAT THERE IS HELP AND HOPE. >> WHEN WE LEFT, MY MOTHER REALIZED THAT SHE HAD TO BECOME MORE FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT, AND EVENTUALLY, SHE WENT BACK TO SCHOOL TO GET A DEGREE. I WATCHED HER FROM HER LOWEST UNTIL HER HIGHEST, AND TO BE AT A PLACE WHERE SHE IS NOW FROM WHERE SHE WAS WHEN SHE WAS BEING ABUSED IS AMAZING. >> AND NOW ME AND MY MOM AND MY GRANDMA LIVE HERE, AND MY DAD, WE DON'T KNOW WHERE HE IS. TODAY, I HAVE A GREAT COMMUNICATION WITH MY MOM, WHICH I LOVE. >> WE ARE VERY CONNECTED. I ALWAYS TOLD HER, "BESIDES YOUR MOM, I'M YOUR BEST FRIEND." >> NOW MY FAMILY LIFE IS LIKE A NORMAL FAMILY, I GUESS. I DO CHORES. I HANG OUT WITH FRIENDS. I PLAY VIDEO GAMES. LIKE, WE'RE JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE SORT OF. YEAH. >> I THINK YOURS IS-- >> I THINK MINE'S FINE. >> I'VE HEARD THAT WHEN SOMEBODY GOES THROUGH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN THE HOME THAT THEY'RE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE VIOLENCE WHEN THEY'RE OLDER IN THEIR HOME, AND I DIDN'T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN, SO I STARTED TO TRY TO GO THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. >> MINE SAYS, "PUT YOUR HAND IN THE AIR IF YOU HATE VIOLENCE OF ANY KIND." >> I'M PART OF A GROUP CALLED P.E.A.C.E., AND IT STANDS FOR PEER ENCOURAGEMENT AND COMMUNITY EDUCATION. AND WE GO AROUND AT DIFFERENT EVENTS AND TELL PEOPLE ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND WHAT THEY CAN LOOK OUT FOR. ALL OF US, WE'VE GONE THROUGH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, AND... WHEN I GO OUT IN THE COMMUNITY AND I TELL PEOPLE ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, I'M TELLING THEM ABOUT MY STORY, AND I KNOW IT'S A GOOD THING. LIKE, GOING THROUGH IT, THERE'S A LOT OF THINGS THAT YOU FEEL AND THAT-- YOUR EMOTIONS AND STUFF... THEY WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT IT, AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT REALLY KEEPS ME GOING. >> I BELIEVE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS SOLVABLE WITH THE RIGHT EDUCATION AND KNOWLEDGE. IT'S A CYCLE. YOU HAVE TO BREAK IT. YOU HAVE TO WANT TO BREAK IT. >> OKAY. I EXPERIENCED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AS A CHILD GROWING UP, ALMOST THE SAME PATTERN. I REMEMBER THINKING TO MYSELF, "I WILL NEVER BE IN THAT SITUATION," AND THEN IT'S LIKE, "WOW, I'M IN THIS SITUATION, AND I'VE GOT CHILDREN THAT ARE IN THIS SITUATION." >> ME AND MY FAMILY MADE A DECISION THAT WE'RE GONNA GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED, BECAUSE THERE'S STILL KIDS IN AMERICA THAT ARE, LIKE, LIVING IN THE SHADOWS, LIKE, BEHIND DOORS. LIKE, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT'S BEHIND DOORS. >> MY MOM STARTED SPEAKING OUT, AND SHE COORDINATED A WALKATHON FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. AT THE WALKATHON, I MET A BUNCH OF WOMEN THAT HAD GONE THROUGH THE EXACT SAME THING THAT MY MOTHER WENT THROUGH, AND THEY ALSO HAD CHILDREN. AND AS WE GOT TO TALKING, WE REALIZED, SPEAKING OUT ABOUT YOUR SITUATION NOT ONLY HELPS OTHERS, BUT IT HELPS YOURSELF. >> NOW THAT I'VE TALKED TO A LOT OF PEOPLE ABOUT IT, IT'S HELPED ME ACCEPT IT A LOT. WHEN I'M TALKING TO PEOPLE ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, I DON'T WANT THEM TO SEE ME AS A VICTIM, BECAUSE I SURVIVED FROM IT. I WANT THEM TO SEE THAT I'M A SURVIVOR. >> SOMETIMES I THINK ABOUT IT, AND I JUST FELT LIKE, "HOW--HOW DID--WHY DID-- HOW DID I LIVE LIKE THIS? HOW DID MY MOM EVEN LIVE?" BUT I'VE LEARNED TO BE BRAVE AND TO BE STRONG AND TO NOT BE AFRAID OF ANYBODY. >> I WAS A WITNESS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, BUT AFTER THAT, I WITNESSED MY MOTHER GROW AND BECOME STRONGER. AND SO NOW I KNOW THAT IF I'M PUT IN A DIFFICULT SITUATION, THAT I CAN GROW AND BECOME STRONGER AS WELL. >> BECAUSE OF WHAT I WENT THROUGH, THERE'S NOTHING I CAN'T DO NOW. I'VE ALREADY FACED SO MUCH FEAR IN MY LIFE. I MEAN, EVERYTHING ELSE SEEMS SO SMALL IN COMPARISON. >> I KNOW I CAN NEVER HAVE THAT PERFECT FAMILY THAT I'VE WANTED, BUT I CAN TRY TO MAKE MY OWN HAPPY FAMILY. >> I CAN'T CHANGE MY PAST. I CAN'T CHANGE HOW MY PARENTS CHOSE TO LIVE, BUT I CAN CHANGE HOW I DECIDE TO LIVE AND HOW MY LIFE IS GOING TO BE. >> MANY OF THE KIDS WE MET IN THIS PROGRAM FEEL THE GREATEST CHANCE FOR BREAKING THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE LIES WITH OTHER KIDS JUST LIKE THEM. WE HOPE ANY KID CAUGHT IN THE TRAP OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WILL UNDERSTAND WHAT THESE KIDS ALREADY KNOW: THAT IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT, THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE, AND THAT IF YOU ARE ONE OF THESE KIDS, THERE ARE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF. NO MATTER HOW DARK THE MOMENT, THERE IS HOPE AND A WAY OUT. I'M LINDA ELLERBEE. >> WE AS STUDENTS IN MOSTLY MINORITY SCHOOLS KNOW THAT WE'RE GETTING LOW-QUALITY EDUCATION. >> I WOULD SAY THAT IT'S SEPARATE AND NOT EQUAL. MOST BLACK STUDENTS GO TO CITY SCHOOLS, AND WHITE STUDENTS ARE OUT IN COUNTY SCHOOLS. >> I WENT TO A PREDOMINATELY AFRICAN-AMERICAN SCHOOL IN ST. LOUIS CITY, AND I NOTICED A GREAT DIFFERENCE IN MATERIALS. >> I THINK IT IS A FAILURE TO OUR SOCIETY THAT WE HAVE SEGREGATED SCHOOLS. >> IT IS A SYMPTOM OF A LARGER PROBLEM THAT, IN THIS COUNTRY, AFRICAN-AMERICANS ARE TREATED AS IF THEY ARE FAILURES. >> male announcer: THIS IS NICK NEWS WITH LINDA ELLERBEE. "BLACK, WHITE, AND BROWN VERSUS BOARD OF EDUCATION: A RETURN TO SEGREGATED SCHOOLS?" >> Ellerbee: ONCE UPON A TIME, MOST BLACK KIDS DIDN'T GO TO SCHOOL WITH WHITE KIDS. THIS WAS CALLED SEGREGATION, AND IT WAS THE LAW. SCHOOLS COULD BE SEPARATE AS LONG AS THEY WERE EQUAL. BUT IN THE YEAR 1954 IN THE TOWN OF TOPEKA, KANSAS, A MAN NAMED OLIVER BROWN AND TWELVE OTHER BLACK FAMILIES SUED FOR THEIR KIDS' RIGHT TO ATTEND WHITE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BECAUSE BLACK AND WHITE SCHOOLS WERE NOT EQUAL. WHITE SCHOOLS WERE BETTER. THEIR CASE, CALLED BROWN VERSUS THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, WENT TO THE HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND, AND WHEN ALL NINE JUSTICES RULED IN FAVOR OF MR. BROWN, IT BECAME ONE OF THE GREATEST SUPREME COURT DECISIONS OF THE 20TH CENTURY. SO HOORAY, SEGREGATION IN OUR SCHOOLS IS OVER. BLACK AND WHITE TOGETHER. WE HAVE OVERCOME. LET'S ALL CELEBRATE PROGRESS. IF ONLY. WE'RE TRAVELING BACKWARDS. EVEN IF OUR SCHOOLS ARE INTEGRATED LEGALLY, THE SORRY TRUTH IS THAT PRACTICALLY MOST KIDS ARE STILL SEPARATED BY RACE. MOST BLACK KIDS STILL GO TO SCHOOL MOSTLY WITH BLACK KIDS. MOST WHITE SCHOOLS STILL ARE BETTER. AND SO TODAY THE EDUCATION OF BLACK AND WHITE KIDS STILL IS NOT EQUAL. "BUT WHY?" YOU ASK. AN IMPORTANT QUESTION IN THIS PROGRAM WITH MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS. WE BEGIN IN AND ABOUT ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI. >> HERE IN THE ST. LOUIS METRO AREA I WOULD DEFINITELY SAY THAT IT'S SEPARATE AND NOT EQUAL. MOST BLACK STUDENTS GO TO CITY SCHOOLS, AND WHITE STUDENTS ARE OUT IN COUNTY SCHOOLS. >> I GO TO VASHON HIGH SCHOOL, WHICH IS IN THE NORTH CITY OF ST. LOUIS. WE ONLY HAVE TWO CAUCASIAN PEOPLE IN OUR SCHOOL. >> I MEAN, YOU LOOK AT KIRKWOOD, WHERE I GO, AND IT'S JUST LITERALLY WHITE EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK. >> THE EXPECTATIONS OF SOME OF THE TEACHERS IS BASICALLY FOR US TO JUST GRADUATE, AND, YOU KNOW, IT'S LIKE, "WELL WHAT ABOUT COLLEGE?" >> IF YOU'RE BLACK AND POOR IN THE ST. LOUIS CITY, THEN MOST LIKELY YOUR FAMILY DID NOT GO TO COLLEGE OR GET A HIGHER LEVEL EDUCATION, AND SO IT'S MUCH MORE DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO MAKE IT. >> IF YOU DECIDE "I WANT TO MAKE SOMETHING OF MYSELF," THEN YOU CAN ALWAYS TEACH YOURSELF THINGS, BUT I DO KIND OF FEEL LIKE THE SCHOOL SHOULD BE MORE EQUAL SO IT DOESN'T TAKE ALL THIS EXTRA EFFORT FOR SOMEONE TO HAVE THE SAME OPPORTUNITY. >> WE ARE STEPHANIE, EVAN, IAN, KHALIL, JACOB, AND AARON. WE LIVE IN THE ST. LOUIS METROPOLITAN AREA, AND WE'RE PART OF A GROUP CALLED CULTURAL LEADERSHIP. >> CULTURAL LEADERSHIP IS A CIVIL RIGHTS TRAINING PROGRAM FOR SOPHOMORES AND JUNIORS IN THE ST. LOUIS AREA. >> ONCE A YEAR WE DO WHAT'S CALLED A SCHOOL SWAP WHERE STUDENTS THAT GO TO COUNTY HIGH SCHOOLS ATTEND A SCHOOL IN THE CITY FOR ONE DAY, AND THEN THE STUDENTS IN THE CITY ATTEND A SCHOOL IN THE COUNTY FOR ONE DAY. >> I WENT TO A PREDOMINATELY AFRICAN-AMERICAN SCHOOL IN ST. LOUIS CITY, AND I NOTICED A GREAT DIFFERENCE IN MATERIALS... >> STUFF LIKE THIS HAPPENS. IT FREEZES UP. >> IN TECHNOLOGY, IN COMPUTERS, AND IN RESOURCES AND TOOLS TO HELP PEOPLE LEARN. >> WHEN I DID THE SCHOOL SWAP AT KIRKWOOD, I WENT IN, AND THE FIRST THING THAT I NOTICED, ACTUALLY, WAS ALL THIS STUFF AROUND HERE. I'M TALKING ABOUT STUFF THAT LOOKED LIKE IT COSTS LOTS OF MONEY. THE TEACHERS COME IN, THEY CAN GET RIGHT ON TOPIC. THEY HAVE MULTIPLE COMPUTERS THAT THEY CAN USE. AND IT'S LIKE, "WOW!" AND THEN I RELATE IT BACK TO MY SCHOOL. WELL, WE DON'T HAVE ALL THAT. >> Ellerbee: IN THE UNITED STATES, PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE PARTLY, IF NOT MOSTLY, PAID FOR BY LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES. >> IN THE CITY, THE PROPERTY VALUE ISN'T AS HIGH AS IN THE COUNTY. THAT'S WHY THE SCHOOLS DON'T GET AS MUCH FUNDING. SO IT ENDS UP BEING THE BLACK CHILDREN THAT GET THE SUBPAR EDUCATION BECAUSE OF WHERE YOU LIVE AND WHAT YOUR PARENTS DID. >> IT'S UNFAIR. DISPROPORTIONALLY AMOUNT OF BLACK STUDENTS ARE BEING FAILED BY OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM. THERE ARE SCHOOLS THAT ARE FAILING, AND IT'S MAKING THE KIDS FAIL. >> Ellerbee: TWO PREDOMINANTLY BLACK SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN THE ST. LOUIS AREA HAVE FAILED TO MEET THE STATE'S BASIC EDUCATION STANDARDS. AND SO, BY STATE LAW, KIDS IN THOSE FAILING DISTRICTS GET A CHANCE TO GO TO SCHOOL IN DISTRICTS WHERE SCHOOLS ARE BETTER. BUT THE ALREADY FAILING SCHOOL DISTRICT MUST PAY FOR THOSE KIDS TO TRANSFER TO BETTER SCHOOLS. AVIANA WENT TO SCHOOL IN RIVERVIEW GARDENS, A FAILING DISTRICT. BUT AS OF AUTUMN 2013, SHE GOES TO A BETTER, IF PREDOMINANTLY WHITE SCHOOL IN A PREDOMINANTLY WHITE SUBURB. >> WHEN I GOT SELECTED FOR THE TRANSFER PROCESS, I FELT SO EXCITED TO GET THIS PAPER, LIKE, THIS GOLDEN PAPER. LIKE, IT WAS REALLY COOL. I CALL IT THE GOLDEN PAPER, BECAUSE IT WAS LIKE THE GATEWAY TO A NEW WORLD. >> Ellerbee: BUT NOT EVERYBODY IN THAT NEW WORLD WAS HAPPY ABOUT THE NEW ARRIVALS. >> I DESERVE TO NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MY CHILDREN GETTING STABBED OR TAKING A DRUG OR GETTING ROBBED. >> IT MADE ME FEEL LIKE-- LIKE THEY WERE PREJUDGING US. LIKE, THEY NEVER EVEN GOT A CHANCE TO KNOW US. >> I BELIEVE THE TRANSFER OF STUDENTS OUT OF THIS DISTRICT TO ANOTHER DISTRICT IS LIKE PUTTING A BAND-AID ON CANCER. IT DOES NOT FIX THE ISSUE. I AM DARIUS KIRK, THE PRINCIPAL AT RIVERVIEW GARDENS HIGH SCHOOL. WHENEVER WE LOSE STUDENTS, YOU'RE NOW TAKING AWAY THE FUNDING FROM THE SCHOOL, WHICH IS ALREADY STRUGGLING. AND SO THE ISSUE NOW, THEN, BECOMES, WE HAVE TO DO MORE WITH LESS. >> AT MY NEW SCHOOL, MEHLVILLE, OUR RESOURCES ARE AWESOME. THEY LET US HAVE OUR OWN LAPTOP. >> YO NECESITO... >> THE CURRICULUM IS SO MUCH HARDER. AT RIVERVIEW, I WAS AHEAD. HERE, I'M IN THE MIDDLE, BUT IT'S EASIER TO LEARN HERE, BECAUSE THERE'S NO DISTRACTIONS. MY STORY IS NOT THAT DIFFERENT FROM ANY AFRICAN-AMERICAN THAT IS COMING FROM A LOW-PERFORMING SCHOOL. WE HAVE A LOT OF THINGS THAT WE GO THROUGH EVERY DAY. SOME OF THEM ARE SCHOOL-RELATED. SOME OF THEM AREN'T. AND THE LEAST YOU CAN DO IS JUST LET THE ONES THAT DO WANT TO GET AN EDUCATION GET ONE, NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES. >> WE AS STUDENTS IN MOSTLY MINORITY SCHOOLS KNOW THAT WE'RE GETTING LOW-QUALITY EDUCATION. >> THE INEQUALITY IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN SCHOOLS, IT IS A SYMPTOM OF A LARGER PROBLEM THAT, IN THIS COUNTRY, AFRICAN-AMERICANS ARE TREATED AS IF THEY ARE FAILURES. >> WE ARE BRYAN AND JONSHELL. WE LIVE IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA. WE ARE A PART OF A YOUTH ACTIVIST GROUP CALLED REED RENAISSANCE INITIATIVE. THE REED RENAISSANCE INITIATIVE WAS FORMED TO STOP THE CLOSURE OF A LOCAL SCHOOL CALLED SARAH T. REED HIGH SCHOOL. SARAH T. REED HIGH SCHOOL IS A MAJORITY AFRICAN-AMERICAN SCHOOL. >> SARAH T. REED HIGH SCHOOL IS SLATED TO BE CLOSED BECAUSE IT IS CURRENTLY A FAILING SCHOOL. BUT WE FIGHT BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT OUR STUDENTS AREN'T THE FAILING ONES. IT IS THE SYSTEM. >> CLOSING THE SCHOOL IS LIKE RUNNING AWAY FROM THE PROBLEM. IT'S EASIER TO RUN AWAY FROM A PROBLEM THAN TO STAND THERE AND FIX IT. WHEN THEY CLOSE SARAH T. REED, THERE'S ONLY GONNA BE ONE OR TWO HIGH SCHOOLS LEFT IN THE NEW ORLEANS EAST AREA. THE STUDENTS THAT ARE LEFT OUT, THEY HAVE TO GO DIFFERENT AREAS IN NEW ORLEANS. >> I AM HERE TODAY BECAUSE I AM WORRIED ABOUT THE SCHOOL CLOSURE. >> WE GO TO RALLIES. WE GO TO PROTESTS. WE TALK TO ELECTED OFFICIALS. >> WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK SO THAT WE CAN GET YOU OUT OF A FAILED SYSTEM. >> WHEN YOU'RE CONSTANTLY BEING REMINDED HOW SOMETHING IS FAILING YOU, YOU'RE GONNA WANT TO FIGHT BACK. AND SCHOOL CLOSURE IS BASICALLY RUNNING AWAY FROM THE PROBLEM OF RACE. EVERYBODY WANTS TO BELIEVE THAT RACISM IS OVER. THEY FRAME IT AS IF SCHOOL CLOSURE ISN'T HAPPENING IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITIES, AND IT'S HAPPENING TO OVERALL STUDENTS. BUT OF COURSE WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT, IT'S HAPPENING TO AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITIES AND TO OTHER MINORITY COMMUNITIES. >> HAVE A DIFFERENT ANSWER? WHAT'D YOU SAY, BRYAN? >> THERE ARE SO MANY SCHOOLS THAT HAVE CLOSED DOWN, CHANGED NAME, REBUILT, BUT IT'S STILL FAILING. IT'S LIKE--IT'S ALMOST AS IF THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM GIVES UP ON THEM. >> THERE'S A RACE ISSUE. AND RACE IS CREATED BY PEOPLE, SO IT CAN BE EASILY AS WELL BE DESTROYED BY PEOPLE. AS OF NOW, SARAH T. REED IS GONNA CLOSE, BUT THAT'S NOT GONNA STOP THE FIGHT. >> WE LOST THIS BATTLE, BUT THE WAR IS STILL GOING ON. >> THERE'S MILLIONS OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS BEING AFFECTED BY POOR SCHOOL SYSTEMS. >> Ellerbee: SO HOW DID WE GET TO THIS PLACE? >> I DEFINITELY DO NOT WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL IN INTEGRATED CLASSES, AND I THINK-- >> YOU DON'T WANT TO GO TO AN INTEGRATED SCHOOL AT ALL? >> NO, SIR, I DO NOT. >> Ellerbee: SINCE THE BROWN VERSUS BOARD OF EDUCATION SUPREME COURT DECISION IN 1954, THE STORY OF THE ATTEMPT TO INTEGRATE AMERICA'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAS BEEN ONE OF SLOW PUSH AND THEN HARD PUSHBACK BY THOSE WHITES WHO FIERCELY RESISTED THE IDEA OF BLACK AND WHITE KIDS GOING TO SCHOOL TOGETHER. >> THERE WAS THE EXPECTATION THAT STATES WOULD INSTANTLY START DESEGREGATING THEIR SCHOOLS, BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT HAPPENED. I'M DR. BEVERLY DANIEL TATUM, PRESIDENT OF SPELLMAN COLLEGE AND THE AUTHOR OF SEVERAL BOOKS ON THE SUBJECT OF RACE RELATIONS. >> Ellerbee: EVENTUALLY, UNDER PRESSURE FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, STATES BEGAN TO DESEGREGATE. MANY WHITES RESPONDED BY TAKING THEIR KIDS OUT OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM AND PUTTING THEM IN PRIVATE SCHOOLS OR FLEEING TO THE MOSTLY ALL-WHITE SUBURBS. >> SUBURBS ARE LARGELY WHITE. INNER CITIES ARE LARGELY BLACK AND OF COLOR. SO JUST LOGISTICALLY, HOW CAN YOU MAKE SCHOOLS IN AN INTEGRATED WAY IF THE POPULATIONS THEMSELVES ARE NOT INTEGRATED? >> Ellerbee: IN THE 1970s, SOME STATES TRIED BUSING WHITE KIDS TO BLACK SCHOOLS AND BLACK KIDS TO WHITE SCHOOLS IN ORDER TO CREATE RACIALLY MIXED SCHOOLS. THE REACTION TO THAT POLICY WAS OUTRAGE. >> MY CHILDREN AND EVERY MOTHER THAT'S MARCHING IN THIS DO NOT WANT THEIR CHILDREN PUT ON A BUS FORCIBLY. >> THE BIGGEST OBJECTION TO BUSING CAME FROM WHITE PARENTS WHO DID NOT WANT TO SEND THEIR KIDS INTO BLACK SCHOOLS OR THEIR CONCERNS THAT BLACK KIDS WERE COMING INTO THEIR SCHOOLS. I REMEMBER VERY VIVIDLY THE SCENES OF SOUTH BOSTON RESIDENTS ATTACKING BUSES OF BLACK KIDS BEING BUSED INTO THEIR COMMUNITIES. >> Ellerbee: BY THE LATE 1970s, FORCED BUSSING WAS ABANDONED, LEAVING FEW OTHER OPTIONS FOR INTEGRATING SCHOOLS. >> THE SUPREME COURT SAID, "SEPARATE CAN NEVER BE EQUAL," AND SO WE MUST MOVE AWAY FROM SEPARATE. TODAY, NOT BECAUSE OF THE LAW, BUT SIMPLY BECAUSE WHERE PEOPLE ARE LIVING, WE STILL HAVE SEPARATE. WE HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO SOLVE THAT SEPARATE PROBLEM. AND, SADLY, WE STILL HAVE UNEQUAL. >> Ellerbee: ANOTHER QUESTION: IF AS A NATION WE SEEM TO HAVE GIVEN UP TRYING TO INTEGRATE OUR SCHOOLS, IF SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL IS STILL THE AMERICAN WAY, IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A BLACK KID GOING TO AN ALL OR MOSTLY BLACK SCHOOL TO GET A FIRST-RATE EDUCATION? SOMETIMES. >> THURGOOD MARSHALL ACADEMY IS LOCATED IN SOUTHEAST WASHINGTON, D.C. SOUTHEAST D.C. HAS A HIGH CRIME RATE. YOU CAN GET ROBBED WALKING DOWN THE STREET. YOU CAN GET KILLED GETTING DOWN THE STREET. THERE'S JUST BAD INFLUENCES EVERYWHERE. >> THINK OF SOUTHEAST D.C. AS LIKE A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY. WE HAVE, QUITE FRANKLY, THE WORST EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES. YES, WE HAVE A BIG DROPOUT RATE. YES, WE HAVE A LOT OF MURDERS. >> FOR ME, GROWING UP HERE, I WOULDN'T DESCRIBE IT AS HOPELESS, BUT I WOULD DESCRIBE IT AS LAWLESS. WITHOUT THIS SCHOOL, IT WOULD BE SO MUCH WORSE, AND I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE GOT HURT A LONG, LONG TIME AGO. WE ARE JEREMIAH, DARRIUS, PHILLONDA, AND ASIA. WE ATTEND THURGOOD MARSHALL ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL IN WASHINGTON, D.C. [indistinct chatter] >> THURGOOD MARSHALL ACADEMY IS A PUBLIC CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL. WE SERVE ABOUT 400 STUDENTS IN GRADES 9 THROUGH 12. OUR STUDENT BODY IS 100% AFRICAN-AMERICAN, AND ABOUT 80% OF OUR STUDENTS QUALIFY FOR FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH, WHICH MEANS THEY FALL--AND THEIR FAMILIES ARE BELOW THE POVERTY LINE. I'M ALEXANDRA PARDO. I'M THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THURGOOD MARSHALL ACADEMY PUBLIC CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL IN WASHINGTON, D.C. THERE'S A RIVER THAT DIVIDES WASHINGTON, D.C. CALLED THE ANACOSTIA RIVER, AND WE ARE EAST OF THE RIVER, OR THAT'S HOW OUR COMMUNITY IS KNOWN, AND THIS IS A SECTION OF THE CITY THAT TOUR BUSES NEVER COME TO. FOR OUR STUDENTS, THERE'S A LOT OF REASONS THAT THEY SEE, THEY HEAR, THEY FEEL, OF WHY I CAN'T BE SUCCESSFUL. BUT WE HAVE PROVEN THAT OUR STUDENTS CAN BE SUCCESSFUL. WHEN WE LOOK AT READING TEST SCORE DATA, MATH TEST SCORE DATA, A.P. DATA, S.A.T. DATA, OUR STUDENTS ARE THE TOP HIGH SCHOOL IN THE CITY, AND 100% OF OUR GRADUATES HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED TO COLLEGE. >> LET'S GO OVER A COUPLE OF THE QUESTIONS THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE. >> WHAT MAKES THIS SCHOOL DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SCHOOLS IN D.C. IS THAT THE TEACHERS HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS. >> SO THAT LEAVES US WITH WHAT FOR NUMBER NINE? >> THE STUDENT HAS TO BE WILLING TO LEARN, BUT YOU HAVE TO HAVE PEOPLE BEHIND YOU TO PUSH YOU TO WANT TO GET A GOOD EDUCATION. >> WHEN YOU COME TO THURGOOD MARSHALL, IT'S LIKE A BIG PROTECTIVE DOME. IT'S JUST SO MUCH DIFFERENT FROM WHAT'S AROUND IT, AND THAT IN ITSELF TELLS YOU THAT THE SCHOOL CARES ABOUT THE STUDENTS. ALL THE WAY? >> YEAH, PRETTY MUCH ALL THE WAY. >> THIS IS A PLACE WHERE FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION. SO IF YOU'RE A TROUBLEMAKER, THEY'LL FORCE YOU AND MAKE YOU INTO A SCHOLAR. WHEN I CAME TO THURGOOD MARSHALL ACADEMY, I WAS A SLACKER. BUT WHAT TURNED ME AROUND WAS, A TEACHER HAD WALKED UP TO ME AND SAID, "DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD GET INTO COLLEGE WITH THESE GRADES?" AND I TOLD HER THAT I BELIEVED I WOULD. SHE TOLD ME I WOULDN'T. >> MY ALGEBRA TEACHER, SHE CAME TO ME AND ASKED ME, DID I WANT TO BE ANOTHER STATISTIC, AND THAT'S THE ONLY THING SHE SAID TO ME, AND THEN SHE LEFT ME WITH THAT FOR, LIKE, TWO DAYS. AND AS I THOUGHT ABOUT IT, I WAS LIKE, "NO, I DON'T WANT TO BE LEFT HERE." SOUTHEAST D.C.--I DID GROW UP HERE, BUT IT'S NOT WHERE I WANT TO STAY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. SO THAT'S WHAT MADE ME START WORKING HARDER. >> THERE'S NO WHITE KIDS AT ALL HERE. BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER TO ME, BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE STILL GET THE EQUAL EDUCATION. >> WE'RE BASICALLY LEARNING THE SAME THING THAT THE WHITE KIDS ARE LEARNING THAT GOES TO THE SCHOOLS IN D.C. >> I THINK IT IS A FAILURE TO OUR SOCIETY THAT WE HAVE SEGREGATED SCHOOLS. BUT IT'S REALLY NOT A FOCUS. JUST FOCUS ON YOUR WORK. >> WHEN YOU WALK AROUND THURGOOD MARSHALL HALLWAYS, YOU SEE FLAGS TO COLLEGES THAT EITHER SENIORS WENT TO OR TEACHERS. AND TO ME, THAT'S JUST A CONSTANT REMINDER, LIKE, THAT SENIOR DID IT. AND I KNEW THAT SENIOR, SO IF SHE CAN DO IT, I CAN DO IT. >> ROUND OF APPLAUSE. GOOD JOB, ASIA. >> I SEE THURGOOD MARSHALL AS MY ONLY KEY TO MAKING A GOOD LIFE. FREE EDUCATION IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS THAT YOU COULD EVER GET, BECAUSE IT'S A FREE OPPORTUNITY TO LEAVE WHAT'S BEHIND YOU BEHIND YOU. IT'S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TO FINALLY RISE ABOVE AND BE SOMETHING. AND THE ONLY THING YOU GOT TO DO IS TRY YOUR HARDEST. >> Ellerbee: STILL ANOTHER QUESTION: IS IT POSSIBLE TO CREATE SCHOOLS WHERE INTEGRATION IS A REALITY AND EDUCATION IS EQUAL? YES, BUT IT'S HARD WORK. EVEN WHEN--AND IF--IT WORKS. THE PLACE IS HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT, THE CITY AND ITS SUBURBS. >> THE FIRST DAY THAT I WALKED INTO THIS SCHOOL, CHYQUAN WAS THE FIRST PERSON I SAW, AND HE SAID, "HEY, COME OVER HERE. COME OVER HERE. SIT DOWN." AND RIGHT FROM THAT SECOND, I KNEW THAT I WAS WELCOME AT THIS SCHOOL. >> WHEN HE CAME INTO THE ROOM, I WAS JUST LIKE, "HEY, ANOTHER NEW FRIEND, SO I'M JUST GONNA MAKE HIM FEEL WELCOME," 'CAUSE THAT'S WHAT THEY DID TO ME. WE ARE CHYQUAN AND AUSTIN, AND WE ATTEND CREC ACADEMY OF AEROSPACE AND ENGINEERING. IN MY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, THERE'S PRIMARILY ALL BLACKS, AND IF A WHITE KID HAD WALKED IN, I WOULD NEVER HAVE SAID ANYTHING. >> IN MY HOMETOWN, I WAS FRIENDS WITH MOSTLY WHITE PEOPLE BECAUSE THAT'S THE MAJORITY OF WHO WAS THERE, AND HERE AT THIS SCHOOL, I'M FRIENDS WITH PEOPLE OF ALL RACES. >> Ellerbee: TODAY, THE HARTFORD AREA IS HOME TO MORE THAN 50 SCHOOLS LIKE THE ONE AUSTIN AND CHYQUAN GO TO. THEY WERE CREATED AS A RESULT OF A SUCCESSFUL LAWSUIT THAT REQUIRED THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT TO FIX A SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL SCHOOL SYSTEM. THE RESULT IS DESIGNED TO CLOSE THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP BY BRINGING KIDS FROM RACIALLY SEGREGATED NEIGHBORHOODS TOGETHER TO LEARN. THEY CALL IT THE VOLUNTARY TWO-WAY SCHOOL INTEGRATION SYSTEM, THE KEY WORD BEING "VOLUNTARY." >> GETTING TO SCHOOL FOR ME IS NOT EASY. I HAVE TO WAKE UP AT 4:45 IN THE MORNING, DRIVE TEN MILES TO A BUS STOP, AND THEN HAVE ANOTHER 45-MINUTE BUS RIDE TO GET TO THE SCHOOL. BUT I DO IT BECAUSE I LOVE THIS SCHOOL. THERE'S SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES HERE THAT I WOULD NEVER HAVE HAD IF I'D JUST WENT TO A REGULAR PUBLIC SCHOOL. >> OUR STUDENT POPULATION IS APPROXIMATELY 30% AFRICAN-AMERICAN, 30% HISPANIC, AND 30% CAUCASIAN. WE HAVE 10% OF OUR STUDENT BODY THAT IS NATIVE AMERICAN, INDIAN, OR ASIAN. SO IT'S A GOOD MIX OF STUDENTS FROM MANY BACKGROUNDS AND MANY COMMUNITIES. I'M PAUL BRENTON, AND I'M THE PRINCIPAL OF THE CREC ACADEMY OF AEROSPACE AND ENGINEERING. >> I THINK THAT THERE IS AN ADVANTAGE TO GOING TO SCHOOL WITH VERY DIVERSE PEOPLE. IT DOES GIVE YOU A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE OF LIFE. WE ARE MARISSA AND HOLLY. WE GO TO CLASSICAL MAGNET SCHOOL IN HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT. THE IDEA OF THE SCHOOL IS TO BRING SUBURBAN KIDS AND NON-SUBURBAN KIDS TOGETHER SO THEY HAVE AN EQUAL EDUCATION. >> I COME HERE BECAUSE THE EDUCATION WHERE I AM FROM IS VERY POOR. THEY HELD LOWER STANDARDS. >> REALIZE WITH THE TWO FORMULAS, HOW... >> WHEN I CAME HERE, I LEARNED HOW MUCH MORE I WAS CAPABLE OF. I THINK THAT THE KIDS THAT ARE GOING TO INTEGRATED SCHOOLS, THEY MAY CARRY THAT ON FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE. FOR ME, IT'S MAINLY EXPOSURE, LEARNING DIFFERENT CULTURES IN A SENSE. >> I FEEL THAT GOING TO A INTERRACIAL SCHOOL MAKES THE EDUCATION BETTER BECAUSE IT SHOWS THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE RICH TO BE SMART. SOME PEOPLE CAN COME FROM, LIKE, THE REALLY BAD AREAS OF TOWN, AND THEY CAN BE THE SMARTEST KID IN SCHOOL. >> I'VE LEARNED SO MUCH ABOUT PEOPLE'S BACKGROUNDS AND CULTURES, AND THE DIVERSITY ASPECT OF OUR SCHOOL IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS ANY CLASS YOU COULD TAKE. >> Ellerbee: SOMETIMES THE DIVISION BETWEEN BLACK AMERICANS AND WHITE AMERICANS CAN SEEM TOO DEEP TO EVER FULLY MEND. AND WHO WILL DO THE MENDING? A 14-YEAR-OLD KID POSTED THE FOLLOWING ONLINE: "HOW COULD ADULTS EXPECT KIDS TO SETTLE THIS PROBLEM WHEN IT'S A PROBLEM THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN SETTLED GENERATIONS AGO?" WELL, WE SAID THAT THIS WAS A SHOW ABOUT QUESTIONS. THAT'S A BIG ONE. HOW CAN WE EXPECT YOU KIDS TO DO WHAT WE GROWN-UPS HAVEN'T DONE? BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T DONE IT, NOT IN 60 YEARS. SO IT IS UP TO YOU, AND IT MAY TAKE THE NEXT 60 YEARS. AND SOME MAY TELL YOU THAT EQUALITY IS ONLY A DREAM. BUT IF THAT'S TRUE, ASK YOURSELF THIS FINAL QUESTION: ISN'T IT THE AMERICAN DREAM? I'M LINDA ELLERBEE. GOOD-BYE FOR NICK NEWS. [percussive marimba music] ♪ >> [speaking foreign language] >> I WAS VERY YOUNG AT THE TIME THEY CAME TO GET ME TO START FISHING. >> [speaking foreign language] >> ALL I EVER DID WAS WORK AND WAS BEATEN UP WHENEVER I REFUSED TO DO ANYTHING I WAS INSTRUCTED TO DO. I'M NOT REALLY SURE WHY BOTH MY PARENTS ASKED ME TO GO. >> male announcer: THIS IS NICK NEWS WITH LINDA ELLERBEE. NOW, FROM NEW YORK, HERE IS LINDA ELLERBEE. >> Ellerbee: HUMAN TRAFFICKING HAS GONE BY OTHER NAMES IN OTHER TIMES. IT USED TO BE CALLED THE SLAVE TRADE. NO MATTER WHAT YOU CALL IT, THE PRACTICE HAS ALWAYS INCLUDED THE SALE OF KIDS. IT STILL DOES. CHILD TRAFFICKING IS AN INTERNATIONAL PROBLEM AFFECTING MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AND MANY COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD. THIS SHOW IS ABOUT SHINING A LIGHT ON A HUGE ISSUE BY FOCUSING ON ONE PLACE, ONE PARTICULAR SITUATION, SOME REMARKABLE AMERICAN KIDS, AND EQUALLY REMARKABLE FORMER CHILD SLAVES TRYING TO MAKE IT BETTER. THIS SHOW IS ABOUT A RESCUE MISSION. THE JOURNEY REALLY STARTED WHEN TYLER, A 15-YEAR-OLD BOY FROM BRENTWOOD, CALIFORNIA, SAW A SHOW ON TELEVISION BACK WHEN HE WAS NINE YEARS OLD. >> THEY WERE FEATURING A STORY ON CHILD TRAFFICKING IN GHANA, AFRICA, AND THESE KIDS WERE BEING SOLD INTO TRAFFICKING BY THEIR OWN PARENTS FOR AS LITTLE AS $20, AND THEY'RE FORCED TO FISH 14 HOURS A DAY WITH ONLY ONE MEAL, AND I FELT HORRIBLE FOR THESE KIDS, AND I COULDN'T BELIEVE THAT THESE KIDS WERE BEING TREATED THIS WAY. I THOUGHT EVERYONE WAS TREATED AS GREAT AS I WAS. >> WHEN TYLER CAME TO ME AND ASKED TO DO A FUNDRAISER FOR CHILDREN HE HAD LEARNED WERE IN TRAFFICKING ON LAKE VOLTA IN GHANA, AFRICA, I KIND OF THOUGHT HE WAS CRAZY. HE WAS NINE. HE WAS LITTLE, AND I DIDN'T THINK IT WOULD ACTUALLY REALLY HAPPEN. MY NAME IS LAURA, AND I'M TYLER'S MOM. >> WE'VE DONE THOUSANDS OF LEMONADE STANDS, CAR WASHES, CELEBRITY FUNDRAISERS, AND JUST ANYTHING WE COULD DO TO RAISE MONEY TO SAVE CHILDREN OUT OF TRAFFICKING. >> THE KIDS ARE SOLD INTO TRAFFICKING BY THEIR PARENTS NOT HAVING ENOUGH MONEY TO SUPPORT THE REST OF THEIR FAMILY, SO THEY THINK THAT IT'S OKAY TO GET A LITTLE MONEY, AND THE PARENTS ARE TOLD THAT THEY WILL LEARN A CERTAIN SKILL SET, AND THEN THEY WILL BE ABLE TO COME BACK TO THEIR HOME AND PROVIDE FOR THEIR FAMILIES. >> TETTEH IS A 22-YEAR-OLD YOUNG MAN WHO WAS FORMERLY TRAFFICKED AND WAS RESCUED SIX YEARS AGO, AND HE NOW WORKS WITH ERIC TO RELATE TO THE CHILDREN THAT WE'RE RESCUING SO THAT THEY CAN LOOK AT HIM AND SEE HOPE AND NOT FEEL SCARED. >> MADISON, ONE OF THE GIRLS WITH ME ON THIS TRIP, HAS BEEN A GOOD FRIEND OF MY FAMILY'S FOR A LONG TIME, AND SHE GOT REALLY INVOLVED WHEN I TOLD HER WHAT WE DO, AND SHE LOVED THE IDEA AND WANTED TO HELP OUT. >> BEFORE WE CAME, I MEAN, I KNEW THAT THE KIDS WERE IN HARSH CONDITIONS. I DIDN'T REALLY KNOW HOW MUCH THEY GOT HURT BY THE FISHERMEN, NECESSARILY, OR HOW THEY WERE TAKEN AWAY FROM WHERE THEY LIVED. MY NAME IS MADDIE, I'M 15 YEARS OLD, AND I'M FROM WALNUT CREEK, CALIFORNIA. >> HE DESCRIBED IT, "BY THE TIME I COULD WALK, BY THE TIME I COULD TALK, BY THE TIME I KNEW WHAT I WAS DOING, I WAS FISHING." HE GREW UP, AND THAT WAS ALL HE KNEW. HE WAS TAKEN AWAY WHEN HE WAS FIVE. HE SPENT TEN YEARS IN SLAVERY, AND DURING THAT TIME, HE WAS HIT, HE WAS HURT, AND SO HE WENT THROUGH A LOT. >> SO TODAY, WE'RE GOING TO THE VILLAGE WHERE NEVER LIVES. IT'S CRAZY, I MEAN, TO THINK I WAS JUST NINE WHEN I SAW HIM ON TV, AND NOW I'M HERE MEETING HIM. >> NEVER, THIS IS TYLER. >> HI. >> TYLER. >> NICE TO MEET YOU. >> VERY NICE MEETING YOU. >> WELCOME TO GHANA. >> THANK YOU. >> YOU'RE WELCOME. >> SO YOU GUYS WILL HAVE FUN. >> OKAY. >> YOU INSPIRED ME TO RAISE MONEY TO HELP SAVE THE KIDS OUT OF TRAFFICKING. >> YES. >> AND I'VE BEEN DOING IT FOR FIVE YEARS, AND NOW-- >> FIVE YEARS? >> MM-HMM. >> YOU SEE, THIS FISHING STORY IS A STORY-- >> YEAH, IT'S A VERY LONG STORY. >> YES, IT'S A LONG STORY. IT'S A STORY WHERE WHEN YOU START--BEFORE YOU FINISH, YOUR HEART WILL MELT LIKE SNOW. FISHING... [chuckles] IS VERY DIFFICULT. THE CONDITION THERE IS NOT-- IT'S NOT GOOD AT ALL. >> IT MAKES ME SAD WHEN I HEAR THE STORIES. IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE ALL THE BAD THINGS IN MY LIFE REALLY AREN'T THAT BAD, AND THEY COULD BE A LOT WORSE, AND IT DRIVES ME. THE TRIP FROM ACCRA TO HERE HAS BEEN A LONG JOURNEY, BUT WE'RE FINALLY HERE. I CAN'T FEEL MY LEGS. [laughs] STAYING AT THE MOTEL LAST NIGHT WAS PRETTY HARD. IT WAS INCREDIBLY HOT, BUT YOU GOT TO PUSH THROUGH AND THINK THAT THE KIDS HAVE IT WORSE, SO I SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO THIS. THIS MORNING, WE ARE AT LAKE VOLTA, AND WE'RE ABOUT TO GO ON OUR FIRST RESCUE MISSION. MY GOAL FOR THE NEXT FIVE DAYS IS TO GET AT LEAST FIVE KIDS OUT OF FISHING TRAFFICKING. [all speaking foreign language] [all speaking foreign language] [all laugh] NOW, THIS IS A MAN WE SAW HERE WHO SAID HE HAD SOME CHILDREN; HE WANTED TO LET THEM GO. >> THE PROCESS OF GETTING KIDS IS, WE PAY THE FISHERMEN, AND THEY SIGN A DOCUMENT SAYING THAT THEY WILL NEVER TRAFFIC ANOTHER KID AGAIN. IF THEY SIGN THE DOCUMENT AND THEN THEY TRAFFIC ANOTHER CHILD, THEY WILL BE ARRESTED. WE GIVE THE FISHERMEN MOSTLY MONEY, BUT SOMETIMES, WE GIVE THEM SUPPLIES, AND THEN SOMETIMES, WE'LL BUILD, LIKE, A FISH POND FOR THEM OR JUST OTHER THINGS THAT MIGHT HELP THEIR BUSINESS. >> WE HAVE ONE NEGOTIATION WHERE IT'S A MUTUAL AGREEMENT THAT THEY HAVE PRETTY MUCH TOLD US THEY WILL RELEASE THE CHILD, BUT WE HAVE NOT TAKEN HIM YET. WE'RE IN OUR SECOND VILLAGE. WE ARE GOING IN TO SEE IF THERE ARE SOME CHILDREN IN THERE THAT WE CAN RESCUE FOR TRAFFICKING. >> [speaking foreign language] >> I DID FEEL HELPLESS DURING THE NEGOTIATIONS, BECAUSE I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT PEOPLE WERE SAYING. I COULDN'T PUT MY INPUT TO THE SITUATION. I COULDN'T REALLY DO ANYTHING, JUST SIT AND WATCH. >> WHEN I SEE THEM ON THE BOAT, YOU KNOW, FEEL THE TENSION FROM THE FISHERMEN, IT'S ALL THE SENSORY DETAILS THAT REALLY HELPED ME UNDERSTAND WHAT EXACTLY THEY'RE GOING THROUGH AND HOW ROUGH THE SITUATION REALLY IS. >> [speaking foreign language] >> [crying] [both speaking foreign language] >> THERE WAS DEFINITELY THAT FEELING OF DISAPPOINTMENT FOR ALL THE KIDS WE HAD TO LEAVE BEHIND LIKE ALEX. YOU KNOW, HE HAD COME ON THE BOAT WITH US. I WAS KIND OF ESTABLISHING A SMALL CONNECTION AT LEAST, AND THAT'S DEVASTATING, EMOTIONALLY. >> [speaking foreign language] >> THE JOB I DO HERE IS VERY DIFFICULT, AND WE WORK FOR LONG HOURS. WHENEVER IT GOT WINDY WHILE WE WERE FISHING, I WOULD JUST KEEP PRAYING OVER AND OVER THAT NOTHING BAD HAPPENED TO US. WE SOMETIMES GET LOST AND END UP SPENDING LONG HOURS BEFORE WE FIND OUR WAY BACK. >> [shouts in foreign language] >> MY MOM ALLOWED HIM TO BRING US HERE SO WE CAN LEARN HOW TO WORK AS FISHERBOYS. I WAS VERY YOUNG WHEN I WAS TAKEN AWAY FROM MY MOTHER SO I WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO RECOGNIZE HER. >> [speaking foreign language] [boat engine roaring] >> IT'S ABSOLUTELY WORTH TO RESCUE--ONE LIFE IS WORTH ANYTHING. WE DON'T KNOW WHAT KOJO WILL BECOME. KOJO COULD BE PRESIDENT OF GHANA ONE DAY. [rooster caws] [percussive music] ♪ >> THE DANCE LAST NIGHT WAS REALLY COOL. IT HAS A GOOD BEAT. THE CONDITIONS ARE A BIT HARD, AND IT'S NOT WHAT WE'RE USED TO. STAYING IN THE VILLAGE HAS BEEN--NOT MANY PEOPLE GET TO DO IT IN THEIR LIFETIME, SO IT WAS GREAT TO EXPERIENCE IT. TETTEH DECIDED TO GO WITH US ON THE RESCUE MISSION AND GO BACK TO HIS OLD VILLAGE TO HELP AND MAKE AN IMPACT. >> [speaking foreign language] >> SINCE HIS UNCLE HAS ALLOWED HIM TO GO... >> [speaking foreign language] >> I THINK IT WAS HARD FOR TETTEH TO GO BACK TO HIS OLD VILLAGE. I DON'T KNOW IF I WOULD HAVE GONE BACK. >> [speaking foreign language] >> TETTEH WAS ONE OF MY WORKERS, BUT I SUPPORTED THE IDEA OF GOING TO SCHOOL. THAT'S WHY I ALLOWED HIM TO LEAVE. I WON'T MAKE ENOUGH PROFIT IF I SHOULD HIRE ADULTS TO WORK FOR ME. I CAN STOP EMPLOYING YOUNG CHILDREN AS WORKERS, HOWEVER, I DON'T KNOW IF THE OTHERS CAN. I DON'T THINK BRINGING THE POLICEMEN TO ARREST FISHERMAN WHO ENGAGE YOUNG CHILDREN IN THEIR BUSINESS WILL PUT A STOP TO THIS. THE PARENTS DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES OR THEIR KIDS. THAT'S WHY THEY GIVE THEM AWAY TO WORK. >> RIGHT NOW, I FEEL STICKY, DIRTY, EXHAUSTED, BUT ACCOMPLISHED. WE'VE DONE SO MANY FUNDRAISERS, AND IT'S ALL JUST PAID OFF TODAY. >> [speaks foreign language] >> I MEAN, WE SAVED FOUR KIDS. IN THE END, WE DID A GOOD THING. >> THE TRANSITION FOR THESE KIDS MUST BE EXTREME. I MEAN, THEY'VE NEVER USED UTENSILS BEFORE. THEY'VE NEVER OPENED A DOOR BEFORE. >> [speaks foreign language] >> THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE A LOCK. THEY'VE NEVER SLEPT IN BUNK BEDS. >> [speaking foreign language] >> WE USED TO SLEEP ON MATS ON THE BARE FLOOR AND THEN COVER OURSELVES WITH A PIECE OF CLOTH. HERE, I CAN SLEEP ON THE MATTRESS AND LAY MY HEAD ON A PILLOW AS WELL. EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL. >> [speaks foreign language] [all chanting] >> TETTEH, HE'S COME HERE, SO NOW HE'S LIVING WITH THE KIDS AT THE CENTER TO TAKE THEM THROUGH THIS PROCESS, AND HE'S, YOU KNOW, THEIR FRIEND BUT ALSO THEIR TEACHER, AND HE'S REALLY GIVING BACK A LOT. >> THE BALL IS ON THE-- >> [speaking foreign language] >> GOING TO SCHOOL GIVES ME HOPE AND MAKES ME BELIEVE I HAVE A BETTER FUTURE. >> SO WE ARE GOING TO SING-- >> IT DOES FEEL LIKE THEY'RE AT A BETTER PLACE. I MEAN, THEY'RE COMING FROM THESE HORRIBLE, INTENSE LIVES AND COMING INTO THE COMFORT OF LOVING ARMS, AND THEY'RE GONNA GO TO SCHOOL AND PLAY WITH FRIENDS, AND IT'S A MUCH BETTER LIFE FOR THEM. >> [speaking foreign language] >> I JUST CAN'T EXPRESS HOW HAPPY I AM TO BE LIVING HERE NOW. I DON'T WANT TO LIVE WITH ANY MASTER AGAIN. >> IF SOME KIDS ARE OUT THERE, AND THEY'RE VERY INTERESTED IN MAKING A DIFFERENCE, JUST DO IT. DON'T DOUBT YOURSELF. ASK AS MANY PEOPLE FOR HELP-- I MEAN, JUST A LITTLE BIT CAN CHANGE A PERSON'S LIFE, AND AS LONG AS YOU HAVE THE DRIVE, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING. >> Ellerbee: AS WE LIKE TO SAY ON NICK NEWS, WHEREVER YOU FIND BAD THINGS HAPPENING, YOU ALWAYS FIND GOOD PEOPLE TRYING TO MAKE IT BETTER, KIDS INCLUDED. THIS SHOW PROVES THAT POINT. KOFI ANNAN FROM GHANA, DIPLOMAT, NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER, AND FORMER SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS ONCE SAID, "YOU'VE TAUGHT YOUNG PEOPLE THAT THEY DO HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD." HE SAID THAT TO BONO OF THE BAND U2. TODAY, HE MIGHT SAY THE SAME THING TO TYLER, AND TYLER MIGHT RESPOND WITH A PROVERB FROM GHANA: ACT AS IF IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO FAIL. I'M LINDA ELLERBEE. GOOD-BYE FOR NICK NEWS. >> announcer: TO FIND OUT HOW >> MY PARENTS ARE FROM SAMOA AND SRI LANKA. >> MY PARENTS ARE FROM INDIA. >> MY FAMILY IS FROM CHINA, AND I WAS BORN IN AMERICA. >> MY PARENTS ARE FROM THE PHILIPPINES. >> I'M A BANGLADESHI AMERICAN. >> CAMBODIAN AMERICAN. >> TAHITIAN AMERICAN. >> TIBETAN AMERICAN. >> JAPANESE AMERICAN. >> INDONESIAN AMERICAN. >> KOREAN AMERICAN. >> male announcer: THIS IS NICK NEWS WITH LINDA ELLERBEE. WHO AM I? ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN AND PROUD. NOW FROM NEW YORK, HERE IS LINDA ELLERBEE. >> Ellerbee: ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN IS A BLANKET TERM THAT LUMPS TOGETHER A MULTITUDE OF HERITAGES, RELIGIONS, LANGUAGES, AND ETHNICITIES. 15 MILLION PEOPLE IDENTIFY THEMSELVES AS ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN. THEY COME FROM ALL PARTS OF ASIA AND THE PACIFIC ISLANDS, NEARLY 50 COUNTRIES IN ALL. THEY DO NOT ALL LOOK ALIKE, SOUND ALIKE, OR SHARE THE SAME BELIEFS, AND YET, OTHERS TEND TO SEE THEM ALL AS THE SAME, CALLING KOREAN AMERICAN CHINESE AND CHINESE AMERICANS JAPANESE; CONFUSING INDIANS WITH PAKISTANIS, HAWAIIANS WITH FILIPINOS WITH MALAYSIANS. MAY IS ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH IN THE U.S., WHICH MEANS IT'S A GOOD TIME TO GET TO KNOW AND TO CELEBRATE ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICANS. >> I DON'T THINK PEOPLE ALWAYS THINK OF INDIA WHEN THEY THINK OF ASIA, EVEN THOUGH IT'S GOT THE SECOND MOST POPULATION IN ASIA. PEOPLE THINK OF COUNTRIES LIKE CHINA OR JAPAN. I'M MAHEEMA. I'M 13, AND I'M FROM WOODBURY, MINNESOTA. I'M A FIRST GENERATION INDIAN AMERICAN BECAUSE MY PARENTS BOTH WERE BORN AND BROUGHT UP IN INDIA, AND THEY CAME HERE, AND THEN THEY HAD ME. MY FAMILY IS MAINLY DIFFERENT, I GUESS, BECAUSE WE FOLLOW A LOT OF TRADITIONS FROM INDIA. WE EAT INDIAN FOOD ALMOST EVERY DAY. WE DO CELEBRATE A LOT OF THE INDIAN HOLIDAYS. ALMOST EVERY STATE IN INDIA HAS SOMEWHAT OF A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE. HINDI IS ONE OF THE MOST USED LANGUAGES. [speaking Hindi] I SPEAK MAINLY HINDI AND ENGLISH. I GUESS YOU COULD SAY I SPEAK HINGLISH. WE USUALLY TAKE TRIPS TO INDIA EVERY OTHER YEAR, AND THEY'RE ANYWHERE FROM, LIKE, THREE WEEKS TO THREE MONTHS. INDIA IS REALLY, REALLY DIFFERENT, ESPECIALLY FROM AMERICA. I THINK IT'S REALLY FUN. I THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT FOR ME TO MAINTAIN MY INDIAN HERITAGE, BECAUSE IT'S WHO I AM, AND WHO MY PARENTS ARE EVEN MORE. I THINK IT KEEPS ME GROUNDED. THERE ARE, LIKE, ONLY TWO INDIAN KIDS IN MY SCHOOL, BUT I DON'T FEEL DIFFERENT. I FEEL I FIT IN AS MUCH AS ANYONE ELSE. THE THINGS I HAVE IN COMMON WITH MY SCHOOL FRIENDS ARE MORE THE CLASSES WE TAKE. WE'RE KIND OF WEIRD, AND WE'RE ALL NERDY, WHICH, BASICALLY, IS HOW WE BECAME ALL FRIENDS. I BASICALLY HAVE TWO GROUPS. ONE FOR ME AND MY AMERICAN FRIENDS, AND THEN MY SILC FRIENDS. SILC STANDS FOR SCHOOL OF INDIA FOR LANGUAGES AND CULTURE. [singing Hindi] IT'S BASICALLY WHERE KIDS GO FOR ABOUT THREE OR FOUR HOURS EVERY WEEKEND. THEY HAVE HINDI, WHICH IS WHAT I'VE BEEN TAKING. >> [speaking Hindi] >> WE LEARN MAINLY ABOUT THE HISTORY OF INDIA, LIKE, THE INDEPENDENCE, WHICH I THINK IS REALLY COOL. THE BIGGEST THING THAT I HAVE IN COMMON WITH MY SILC FRIENDS IS THAT WE'RE ALL INDIAN. AND I'VE KNOWN THEM FOR YEARS, SO I'M REALLY CLOSE WITH THEM. WITH MY SCHOOL FRIENDS, YOU HAVE TO LOOK MORE TO FIND THINGS IN COMMON. IT'S NOT AS EASY. THERE'S BASICALLY JUST TWO DIFFERENT PARTS OF MY LIFE. I REALLY JUST LOVE MY AMERICAN CULTURE AND MY INDIAN CULTURE. AND I'M NOT SURE EVERYONE GETS THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE THAT CLOSE TO THEIR HERITAGE. >> I FEEL A CONNECTION TO MY HERITAGE WHEN I'M DOING A LION DANCE BECAUSE IT'S A PART OF MY CULTURE AND IT'S ALSO SOMETHING THAT I LOVE TO DO. MY NAME IS JUSTIN. I AM 13 YEARS OLD. I LIVE IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA. SOME PEOPLE MAY NOT THINK OF NEW ORLEANS WHEN THEY THINK OF VIETNAMESE AMERICANS, BUT THERE'S A LOT OF VIETNAMESE AMERICANS THAT LIVE DOWN HERE. MY PARENTS WERE ABOUT MY AGE WHEN THEY CAME FROM VIETNAM TO THE UNITED STATES AS A RESULT OF THE VIETNAM WAR. >> [speaking Vietnamese] AT HOME I MOSTLY SPEAK ENGLISH, BUT ON SOME OCCASIONS MY MOM AND MY DAD TALK TO US IN VIETNAMESE TO TEACH US NEW WORDS. DURING THE DAY I FEEL MORE AMERICAN BECAUSE I'M MAINLY AT SCHOOL. EVEN THOUGH THERE'S NOT A LOT OF VIETNAMESE AMERICANS AT MY SCHOOL, I FEEL LIKE I CAN FIT IN WITH THEM AND, LIKE, EVEN THOUGH I'M DIFFERENT, I HAVE A LOT OF SIMILARITIES. VERSAILLES IS A NEIGHBORHOOD IN NEW ORLEANS, AND IT HAS AN ABUNDANT POPULATION OF VIETNAMESE AMERICANS. IT'S LIKE A MINIATURE VERSION OF VIETNAM. MY BROTHER AND I ARE BOTH ON THE VIETNAMESE LION DANCE TEAM. IT'S LIKE DRAGON DANCE FROM THE CHINESE CULTURE, BUT IN OUR VERSION THERE'S A STORY. THERE WAS AN EVIL SPIRIT THAT USED TO HAUNT A VIETNAMESE VILLAGE, AND WHEN THEY FOUGHT BACK USING THE LION DANCE, THE EVIL SPIRIT WENT AWAY FOREVER. SOME PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED WHEN THEY SEE A LION DANCE PERFORMANCE, BECAUSE IT'S REALLY MORE ATHLETIC THAN YOU WOULD EXPECT. WHEN I'M UP IN THE AIR, IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I CAN FLY. LIKE, IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I'M LITERALLY GLIDING IN THE AIR. WHEN I PERFORM, I FEEL GOOD BECAUSE I'M BRINGING JOY TO MY NEIGHBORS AND TO MY OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS. IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I'M RESPONSIBLE FOR THE VIETNAMESE CULTURE, AND I'M REPRESENTING EVERYONE THAT'S VIETNAMESE AMERICAN. >> BEING AMERICAN, TO ME, IS ACCEPTING THAT WE ALL CAME FROM SOMEWHERE AND WE ALL DESERVE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY. MY NAME IS RIKI. I'M 14 YEARS OLD, AND I'M FROM SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA. I AM YONSEI, WHICH MEANS FOURTH GENERATION JAPANESE AMERICAN. MY GREAT-GREAT-GRANDPARENTS CAME HERE FROM JAPAN FOR EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND A BETTER LIFE. THERE'S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOMEONE WHOSE PARENTS ARE FROM JAPAN, AND SOMEONE, LIKE ME, WHO, MY PARENTS AND THEIR GRANDPARENTS HAVE BEEN LIVING IN AMERICA. PEOPLE WHOSE PARENTS ARE FROM JAPAN, THEIR PARENTS TRY TO INSTILL THE JAPANESE IN THEM. THEY USUALLY SPEAK JAPANESE TO THEIR PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS AND FRIENDS, AND I SPEAK ENGLISH. >> NOW, THIS PICTURE HERE IS INTERESTING. >> I FEEL MORE CONNECTED TO MY JAPANESE HERITAGE WHEN I'M ACTUALLY WITH MY GRANDPARENTS. MY GRANDPARENTS AND THE REST OF THEIR FAMILY WERE SENT TO INTERNMENT CAMPS. THE INTERNMENT CAMPS WERE BASICALLY, LIKE, SIMILAR TO PRISONS. IN 1941, JAPAN ATTACKED THE UNITED STATES. >> SINCE THE UNPROVOKED AND DASTARDLY ATTACK BY JAPAN, A STATE OF WAR HAS EXISTED BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE JAPANESE EMPIRE. >> THE U.S. GOVERNMENT SAW PEOPLE OF JAPANESE DESCENT, OR JAPANESE AMERICANS, WHETHER OR NOT THEY WERE CITIZENS, AS THE ENEMY. THEY SAW THEM AS A THREAT TO THE UNITED STATES, SO PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT GAVE EXECUTE ORDER 9066 TO PUT THEM INTO INTERNMENT CAMPS, OR AS MY GRANDFATHER LIKES TO SAY, INCARCERATION. >> IT'S AWFULLY TOUGH TO LOOK UP AT THE FENCE THERE AND SEE A GUY WITH A MACHINE GUN... >> both: POINTED AT YOU. >> YEAH. IT'S AWFULLY HARD TO TAKE. >> I'M REALLY INTERESTED IN TALKING TO MY GRANDPARENTS ABOUT INTERNMENT CAMP. IT AFFECTS ME BECAUSE I TREAT PEOPLE DIFFERENTLY THAN HOW I WOULD IF I WASN'T JAPANESE OR IF MY GRANDPARENTS DIDN'T GO TO INTERNMENT CAMPS. I TRY TO TREAT PEOPLE WITH A LOT OF RESPECT, AND I TRY TO TREAT MYSELF WITH A LOT OF RESPECT. I PERSONALLY CELEBRATE MY HERITAGE EVERY DAY IN THE LITTLE THINGS THAT I DO AND JUST BEING MYSELF. >> I AM ABSOLUTELY PROUD TO BE FILIPINO AMERICAN. I AM ASHLEY ARGOTA. I AM AN ACTRESS. I PLAY KELLY ON BUCKET AND SKINNER'S EPIC ADVENTURES, AND I AM FILIPINO AMERICAN. I FEEL SO BLESSED TO LIVE IN AMERICA. I MEAN, I HAVE SO MUCH FREEDOM HERE, AND I HAVE SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES THAT I WOULDN'T GET IF I LIVED IN THE PHILIPPINES, BUT I ALSO GET TO KEEP THE VALUES AND THE CULTURE THAT MY FAMILY HAS TAUGHT ME. BEING FILIPINO, WE ARE VERY HOSPITABLE, VERY RESPECTFUL OF OUR ELDERS. MY HOUSEHOLD IS THE KIND OF PLACE, LIKE, IF YOU COME TO OUR HOUSE, WE HAVE FOOD LAID OUT FOR YOU. IT'S A PLACE TO STAY. WE ACTUALLY CALL EVERYBODY--PRETTY MUCH ALL OF OUR CLOSE FRIENDS AND FAMILY--WE CALL THEM AUNTS AND UNCLES, SO WHEN I WAS LITTLE I DIDN'T REALLY KNOW, LIKE, WHO MY ACTUAL AUNT AND UNCLES WERE. I ASSUMED THAT EVERYBODY WAS FAMILY TO ME. FILIPINOS PRIMARILY SPEAK TAGALOG, WHICH, UNFORTUNATELY, I CAN'T SPEAK, BUT I UNDERSTAND A LOT OF IT. I GET MESSAGES FROM FILIPINO KIDS ALL THE TIME. THEY'RE ALWAYS LIKE, FIRST QUESTION OUT OF THEIR MOUTH WILL BE, "ARE YOU FILIPINO?" AND WHEN I SAY, "YES," THEY IMMEDIATELY FLIP OUT, AND THEY GET SO EXCITED. I'VE NEVER HAD A FILIPINO ROLE MODEL TO LOOK UP TO, SO FOR ME TO KIND OF BE THAT PERSON IS REALLY A BLESSING. >> I WISH THAT KIDS UNDERSTOOD HOW HARD IT IS TO BE AN ASIAN AMERICAN, ESPECIALLY FIRST GENERATION. I FEEL LIKE I'M IN TWO DIFFERENT WORLDS. MY NAME IS MELISSA. I'M 15 YEARS OLD, AND I'M LAOTIAN AMERICAN. LAOS IS IN THE BORDER OF CHINA, THAILAND, CAMBODIA, AND VIETNAM. IT'S A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY, AND IT HAS A RICH CULTURE, MY PARENTS CAME HERE TO SEARCH THE AMERICAN DREAM AND EARN ENOUGH MONEY TO HAVE A GOOD LIFE. I FEEL MORE LAOTIAN WHEN I'M HOME BECAUSE WE USUALLY EAT ON THE FLOOR, AND WE ALSO EAT TRADITIONAL LAO FOOD. [speaking Lao] >> MY PARENTS SPEAK A MIX OF LAO AND ENGLISH TO TALK TO ME, AND I REPLY BACK IN ENGLISH. I DON'T HAVE ANY HOMEWORK, I JUST HAVE PROJECTS. IT'S A BARRIER WITH THE LANGUAGE DIFFERENCE BECAUSE WE CAN'T SAY A LOT OF THINGS TO EACH OTHER WITH THE WORDS WE USE. THE MINUTE I START GETTING READY FOR SCHOOL I FEEL MORE AMERICAN. AROUND MY FRIENDS I CAN SPEAK OUT MY THOUGHTS. I'M LESS SURROUNDED BY THE CULTURE, AND I'M JUST TALKING ENGLISH, AND LAO ISN'T IN MY HEAD. WHEN I WAS LITTLE, IT WAS HARD GROWING UP WITH BULLYING BECAUSE OF MY RACE. I'M USUALLY THE ONLY ASIAN IN MY CLASS. IT MAKES ME FEEL MORE UNIQUE, BUT IT'S ALSO HARD BECAUSE I CAN'T RELATE TO ANYBODY IN MY CLASS. IN ASIAN AMERICAN CLUB, WE TRY TO BRING OUR CULTURE INTO THE SCHOOL. IT'S A SMALL CLUB, BUT IT'S ALSO DIVERSE. THE FRIENDS IN OUR CLUB, THEY KNOW THAT WE'RE DIFFERENT AND UNIQUE. I REALLY WANT TO DO FASHION, BE A DESIGNER, BUT MY PARENTS WOULD LIKE ME TO BE A DENTIST, A LAWYER, OR A DOCTOR. EVERY TIME THEY SEE MY GRADES SLIPPING, THEY REALLY WANT ME TO GET BACK TO AN "A" OR A A-PLUS. THEY EXPECT ME TO COME BACK AFTER COLLEGE. THEY WANT ME TO TAKE CARE OF THEM AND HELP THEM. IT'S A LOT OF PRESSURE. IT'S IMPORTANT TO EMBRACE THE LAOTIAN SIDE OF ME, SINCE I AM THE FIRST GENERATION OF MY FAMILY TO BE IN AMERICA. IF I KEEP BECOMING AMERICAN, I'M GONNA LOSE MY BACKGROUND AND SO ARE MY CHILDREN AND THEIR CHILDREN. >> Ellerbee: MUSIC PRODIGIES, SMART AND HARDWORKING, GREAT AT MATH, BAD AT SPORTS, QUIET AND SHY, COMPUTER GEEKS: ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN KIDS ARE NO STRANGERS TO STEREOTYPES AND PREJUDICE. THEY DEAL WITH STEREOTYPES ON A REGULAR BASIS, OFTEN FIGHTING A PERSONAL BATTLE TO DISPROVE SOME OF THEM AND LIVE UP TO OTHERS. HERE, NOW ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICANS SET US STRAIGHT ABOUT WHAT'S TRUE, WHAT'S NOT, AND HOW IT FEELS WHEN PEOPLE MAKE SILLY JUDGMENTS ABOUT THEM. >> SOME KIDS THINK THAT BECAUSE I'M FILIPINO THAT I EAT FOOD WITH MY HANDS OR THAT I EAT DOGS. >> PEOPLE AUTOMATICALLY THINK THAT WE'RE CANNIBALS OR SAVAGES. >> THEY WOULD ASK FOR KARATE LESSONS. THEY WILL ALSO CALL ME A NINJA. >> INDIAN PEOPLE ARE REALLY CHEAP. WE SPEAK WITH A FUNNY ACCENT. >> BEING CALLED A DIRTY JAP. >> CHINKY EYES OR SQUINTY EYES. >> THEY AUTOMATICALLY ASSUME THAT I'M A SUPER GENIUS. >> KIDS SOMETIMES MAKE FUN OF THE ASIAN LANGUAGE, SAYING, "CHING, CHANG, CHUNG." I WOULD PREFER KIDS TO TREAT ME JUST LIKE THEM, NO STEREOTYPES, NO RACIST COMMENTS, NO, JUST FRIENDS. >> WHEN I HEAR STEREOTYPES AGAINST INDIANS OR INDIAN AMERICANS, IT MAKES ME FEEL THAT THEY'RE IGNORANT, AND THEY DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT MY CULTURE AND THAT WE HAVE TO TEACH THEM. >> PEOPLE SAY THAT WE ARE GOOD AT MATH, AND THEY JUST ASSUME THAT WE'RE NOT GOOD AT SPORTS. >> WHEN PEOPLE THINK OF PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES, THEY DON'T REALLY THINK OF SOMEBODY THAT LOOKS LIKE ME. IT JUST URGES ME TO PLAY BASKETBALL MORE AND PRACTICE MORE, SO THEY JUST THINK, LIKE, OH, I WAS WRONG ABOUT THAT KID. I'M MATTIE. I'M 11, AND I'M FROM SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA. WHEN PEOPLE ASK ME WHAT I AM, I'D SAY I'M HALF JAPANESE AND HALF CHINESE. MY MOM CAME TO AMERICA FROM JAPAN, AND MY DAD CAME FROM CHINA TO AMERICA. I'M THE FIRST IN OUR FAMILY TO BE BORN IN AMERICA, WHICH MAKES ME THE FIRST GENERATION. I'M GRATEFUL THAT MY PARENTS CAME TO AMERICA BECAUSE IT MADE LIFE EASIER ON ME. BEING THE FIRST GENERATION MEANS THAT I CAN HAVE A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE AND KIND OF PASS THAT DOWN TO DIFFERENT GENERATIONS. PEOPLE ASSUME THAT, LIKE, IF YOU'RE AN ASIAN AMERICAN, YOU'RE NOT GONNA BE GOOD AT A CERTAIN SPORT, 'CAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE THE ATHLETIC ABILITY OR SOMETHING. I'M PRETTY ATHLETIC, AND I'M PRETTY COMPETITIVE. YOU KNOW, I DON'T LIKE TO LOSE. I'M ON THE SAN JOSE NINJAS, WHICH IS AN ASIAN AMERICAN TEAM THAT GOES FROM SIXTH GRADE TO SENIOR YEAR. YOU KNOW, ASIAN AMERICAN PEOPLE SOMETIMES GET LEFT OUT A LOT IN SPORTS, SO THEY MADE THE ASIAN AMERICAN LEAGUE TO HELP SUPPORT THESE KIDS. IT'S IMPORTANT, BECAUSE IT COULD HELP KIDS, YOU KNOW, KIND OF BOND WITH OTHER PEOPLE THAT HAVE GONE THROUGH WHAT THEY'VE GONE THROUGH. I FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE PLAYING AGAINST THESE PLAYERS BECAUSE YOU FIT IN MORE. LIKE, YOU'RE NOT GONNA BE THE ONLY PERSON ON THE TEAM THAT'S ASIAN AMERICAN. EVERYBODY IS USUALLY THE SAME HEIGHT AND THE SAME STRENGTH AND ALL THAT. PLAYING ON THE NINJAS IS JUST A REALLY BIG HONOR BECAUSE ONLY SO MANY PLAYERS GET PICKED TO THESE TEAMS, SO IT WAS PRETTY ELITE. MY CHANCES OF MAKING PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL IS NOT THAT BIG, BUT, STILL, IF YOU KEEP ON TRYING AND PRACTICING AND WORKING AT IT, YOU STILL ALWAYS HAVE A CHANCE TO MAKE PROFESSIONAL. I KNOW I'M GONNA HAVE TO DODGE A LOT OF WORDS AND STEREOTYPES, BUT IF I KEEP ON WORKING AT IT AND KEEP ON PRACTICING AT THE SPORT, THEN I HAVE A PRETTY DECENT CHANCE. >> I WISH THERE WERE MORE CHINESE AMERICANS IN MOVIES OR ON TV. >> ON TV, I VERY RARELY SEE PEOPLE THAT LOOK LIKE ME AT ALL. >> WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, I NEVER REMEMBER SEEING INDIAN PEOPLE ON TV, UNLESS, LIKE, A CHARACTER WENT TO INDIA OR IT WAS, LIKE, JAMES BOND AND HE WAS IN INDIA, OR, LIKE, THERE WAS, LIKE, GANDHI FOOTAGE. MY NAME IS AZIZ ANSARI. I'M A COMEDIAN AND ACTOR, AND I'M INDIAN AMERICAN. I WAS BORN IN SOUTH CAROLINA. THERE'S DEFINITELY NOT A LOT OF INDIANS IN SOUTH CAROLINA. THAT'S NOT, LIKE, THE GO-TO HOT SPOT FOR INDIAN PEOPLE IN AMERICA. WHEN I FIRST STARTED ACTING, INITIALLY THE ROLES I GOT OFFERED WERE VERY STEREOTYPICAL, YOU KNOW, GUY AT THE GAS STATION, CAB DRIVER, ALL THAT STUFF, BUT I ALWAYS TURNED THOSE ROLES DOWN, AND I WOULD JUST PLAY CHARACTERS THAT I THOUGHT WERE FUNNY, WHOSE HUMOR DIDN'T RELY JUST ON ETHNIC STEREOTYPE JOKES. IN MY STAND-UP, I DON'T LIKE TO WRITE ABOUT, LIKE, OH, AND THEN I SLIPPED ON SOME CURRY AND LANDED ON A CHAPATI. YOU KNOW, LIKE, THAT IS BORING TO ME. YOU SHOULD WRITE A CHARACTER THAT'S JUST FUNNY AND LET AN INDIAN PERSON PLAY IT. DON'T WRITE A FUNNY INDIAN CHARACTER. >> BEING FILIPINO, BEING ASIAN, IT IS A LITTLE BIT HARDER TO GET ROLES IN HOLLYWOOD. THEY DON'T OFFER A LOT OF ROLES TO ASIANS. I MEAN, A LOT OF TIMES YOU'LL GET CASTING BREAKDOWN SHEETS, AND THEY'LL GIVE YOU THE DESCRIPTION FOR A ROLE, AND I CAN SEE IT, AND I'M LIKE, "OH, I CAN TOTALLY DO THAT." AND THEN YOU KEEP LOOKING, AND IT SAYS, "WE'RE LOOKING FOR CAUCASIAN ACTRESSES," WHICH IS JUST WHITE ACTRESSES, WHICH I THINK IS KIND OF UNFAIR 'CAUSE SOME ROLES I'D REALLY LIKE TO AUDITION FOR AND I THINK THAT THEY SHOULD BRANCH OUT AND GIVE OTHER PEOPLE SOME CHANCES. >> EVERY YOUNG ACTOR TRYING TO MAKE IT IN HOLLYWOOD FACES ALL KINDS OF BARRIERS, BUT FOR ASIAN AMERICANS, IT'S PARTICULARLY CHALLENGING. I'M GEORGE TAKEI, A JAPANESE AMERICAN, AND I'M AN ACTOR. WHEN I STARTED OUT IN HOLLYWOOD, THERE WERE VERY FEW OPPORTUNITIES. SOMETIMES I WAS REJECTED BECAUSE I WAS TOO ASIAN. OR OTHER TIMES I'M REJECTED BECAUSE I'M NOT ASIAN ENOUGH. I TRY TO AVOID REALLY OFFENSIVE KIND OF ROLES, AND I WAS FAIRLY LUCKY IN THAT RESPECT. WE STILL HAVE A LONG WAYS TO GO, BUT WE HAVE COME A LONG WAYS TO THIS POINT. >> Ellerbee: BEING AMERICAN MEANS MORE THAN BEING A U.S. CITIZEN. BEING AMERICAN IS ABOUT SEEING OURSELVES REFLECTED IN THE FACES OF PEOPLE WHO MAY LOOK DIFFERENT AND SPEAK DIFFERENT LANGUAGES, WHO MAY PURSUE DIFFERENT DREAMS. THAT TOO IS BEING AMERICAN. AND ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH GIVES ALL OF US ANOTHER CHANCE TO BE PROUD OF ALL OF US. >> I'M INDONESIAN AMERICAN, AND IT MAKES ME FEEL SPECIAL BECAUSE I'M THE ONLY ONE WHO IS INDONESIAN AMERICAN AT MY SCHOOL, AND IT'S KIND OF LIKE THERE'S JUST, LIKE, A PART OF ME THAT, LIKE, NO ONE ELSE CAN TOUCH, 'CAUSE THEY CAN'T, LIKE, DECLINE MY HERITAGE. >> I'M PROUD TO BE SAMOAN AND SRI LANKAN BECAUSE I HAVE GOT TO EXPERIENCE ALL THESE DIFFERENT THINGS IN AMERICA, BUT MY MOM AND DAD HAVE DEFINITELY EXPOSED ME TO THAT KIND OF CULTURE. AND SO IT'S A GREAT EXPERIENCE FOR ME. >> I'M PROUD TO BE A FILIPINO BECAUSE, BEING A FILIPINO, IT'S LIKE YOU'RE FAMILY WITH OTHER FILIPINOS. LIKE, WHEN YOU MEET SOMEONE, IT'S LIKE, "OH, HEY, YOU'RE FILIPINO? I'M FILIPINO TOO." IT JUST GIVES YOU A SENSE OF PRIDE. >> I FEEL A CONNECTION TO INDIA, 'CAUSE THAT'S MY HERITAGE. THAT'S MY CULTURE, AND I'M PROUD OF IT. >> IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE TODAY AND WHO YOU WERE WHERE YOU ARE FROM. I'M AN AMERICAN, AND I'M FROM PAKISTAN. THAT'S WHO I AM. >> I DON'T THINK I'VE EVER HEARD OF ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH BEFORE, WHICH I THINK IS REALLY COOL, 'CAUSE THERE ARE A LOT OF ASIANS HERE NOW. >> IT MEANS TO ME THAT ASIAN AMERICANS ARE RECOGNIZED, AND THEY'RE NOT LEFT OUT. >> WE HAVE MONTHS FOR ALMOST ALL HERITAGES AND BACKGROUNDS, SO I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO CELEBRATE EACH ONE SO THAT WE LIFT UP ALL PEOPLE. AND WHEN WE LIFT UP ALL PEOPLE, >> BAN FRACKING NOW! BAN FRACKING NOW! >> PUT NEW YORK! >> crowd: BACK TO WORK! >> PUT NEW YORK! >> crowd: BACK TO WORK! >> Ellerbee: WHAT'S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT FRACKING? >> I'VE HEARD THAT PEOPLE CAN SET THEIR WATER ON FIRE, AND ANIMALS HAVE BEEN DYING FROM DRINKING WATER AND CONTAMINATED GRASS. >> WE HAVE TWO WELLS ON OUR PLACE. WE'VE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH THE DRILLING OR THE FRACKING. >> I'M TERRIFIED ABOUT WHAT WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT HYDROFRACKING. >> male announcer: THIS IS NICK NEWS WITH LINDA ELLERBEE. NOW FROM NEW YORK, HERE IS LINDA ELLERBEE. >> Ellerbee: FRACKING. EVEN THE WORD SOUNDS WEIRD. BUT FRACKING IS SOMETHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT. ACTUALLY, IT'S A PROCESS. HYDRAULIC FRACTURING, OR FRACKING, IS A CONTROVERSIAL BUT SUCCESSFUL TECHNIQUE TO GET NATURAL GAS AND OIL OUT OF UNDERGROUND ROCK FORMATIONS. THOSE IN FAVOR OF FRACKING SAY IT'S A SAFE PROCESS THAT'S BRINGING JOBS AND ENERGY INDEPENDENCE TO AMERICA. THOSE AGAINST SAY OUR AIR AND DRINKING WATER ARE GETTING CONTAMINATED, AND IT JUST ISN'T WORTH THE RISK TO THE ENVIRONMENT. SEE WHAT YOU THINK. [soft instrumental music] ♪ >> WHEN YOU'RE DRIVING AROUND TOWN, YOU JUST SEE ROWS OF FRACKING DRILLS, AND THERE ARE MANY TANKS THAT HAVE BEEN FENCED OFF, AND THEY HAVE THE DANGER SIGNS. NO ONE KNOWS WHAT'S IN THEM. IT'S JUST ANGERING TO SEE HOW WE'RE DESTROYING THE LAND WITH THIS. MY NAME IS KELSEY. I'M 13 YEARS OLD, AND I LIVE IN WELD COUNTY, COLORADO. >> I THINK FRACKING'S GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY. INSTEAD OF HAVING TO IMPORT OIL FROM COUNTRIES LIKE IRAQ, WE HAVE IT HERE IN AMERICA. WE'RE BECOMING ENERGY INDEPENDENT. MY NAME IS PEYTON. I'M 13, AND I LIVE IN WELD COUNTY. WELD COUNTY IS FARMLAND. IT'S OIL LAND AND GAS LAND. MY DAD, HE HAULS WATER IN A WATER TANKER TO THE FRACKING SITES. BY MY HOUSE, THERE IS THREE NATURAL GAS WELLS. >> Ellerbee: THAT'S 3 OF ABOUT 20,000 OIL AND NATURAL GAS WELLS IN WELD COUNTY, COLORADO, WHERE THERE ARE MORE WELLS THAN ANY OTHER COUNTY IN THE U.S. THAT'S BECAUSE BELOW WELD IS THE NIOBRARA SHALE FORMATION, WHICH IS BEING TAPPED FOR ITS RICH SUPPLY OF NATURAL GAS AND OIL. >> I THINK THAT'S COOL THAT WE'VE FRACKED THAT MUCH AND WE'RE PRODUCING THAT MUCH OIL AND NATURAL GAS. IT'S MAKING THE ECONOMY BETTER BY LOWERING NATURAL GAS PRICES. I LIKE TO SEE HOW FAR TECHNOLOGY HAS COME. >> Ellerbee: FRACKING IS NOT NEW, BUT THE WAY THEY'RE FRACKING IS. A WELL IS DRILLED, FIRST DOWN, THEN SIDEWAYS THROUGH SHALE, A FORM OF ROCK. A PERFORATING GUN CRACKS THE SHALE. NEXT, MILLIONS OF GALLONS OF WATER, SAND, AND CHEMICALS ARE PUMPED INTO THE SHALE AT HIGH PRESSURE, FURTHER FRACTURING THE ROCK IN ORDER TO RELEASE OIL AND NATURAL GAS TRAPPED IN THE SHALE FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS. >> THE DEBATE THAT'S GOING ON IN THIS COUNTRY RIGHT NOW WITH RESPECT TO SHALE GAS AND SHALE OIL IS VERY SIMPLE. IT'S A LOT OF MONEY RELATIVELY QUICKLY FOR A RELATIVELY SMALL NUMBER OF PEOPLE VERSUS THE RISK TO THE ENVIRONMENT, THE RISK TO HUMAN HEALTH, AND RISK TO THE CLIMATE. MY NAME IS TONY INGRAFFEA, AND I'M A PROFESSOR OF CIVIL ENGINEERING AT CORNELL UNIVERSITY IN ITHACA, NEW YORK. THE RISKS WE KNOW ABOUT FOR SURE THAT HAVE BEEN DOCUMENTED BY VARIOUS STATE AGENCIES ARE SPILLS OF THE CHEMICALS AND OF THE WASTE FLUID THAT CAN BACK UP FROM THE FRACKING PROCESS. PRIVATE WATER WELLS HAVE BEEN RUINED, AND RIVERS AND CREEKS HAVE BEEN RENDERED UNDRINKABLE FOR SOME PERIODS OF TIME. THERE'S ALSO LEAKAGE OF THE NATURAL GAS, CALLED METHANE. AND METHANE, LIKE CARBON DIOXIDE, IS ALSO A GREENHOUSE GAS, WHICH MAKES CLIMATE CHANGE WORSE. >> Ellerbee: THAT'S WHAT ONE SIDE SAYS. HERE'S WHAT THE OTHER SIDE SAYS. >> OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL IN FINDING CHEMICALS IN WATER THAT WERE PUT THERE AS A RESULT OF FRACKING. MY NAME IS TERRY ENGELDER. I'M A PROFESSOR OF GEOSCIENCES AT THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY. BASICALLY, WHAT THAT MEANS IS, I'M A GEOLOGIST. WE ENJOY HEAT. WE ENJOY ELECTRICITY. WE ENJOY BEING ABLE TO DRIVE VEHICLES. ALL OF THOSE PROCESSES REQUIRE ENERGY, AND THAT ENERGY HAS TO COME FROM SOMEPLACE. THE DRILLING AND FRACKING PROCESS WILL ALWAYS HAVE A RISK INVOLVED. IN MY VIEW, THEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE--THE BIGGEST RISK IF YOU LIKE--IS THE LEAKING OF METHANE INTO THE ATMOSPHERE DURING THE DRILLING PROCESS. AND THERE IS ROOM FOR THE INDUSTRY TO LEARN HOW TO DO THIS BETTER. THEY CAN AND WILL, I HAVE NO DOUBT, DO THAT. >> FROM OUR SCHOOL, YOU CAN JUST LOOK OUT THE WINDOWS AND SEE THE WELLS. AND I AM WORRIED ABOUT THE FACT THAT THEY ARE VERY CLOSE TO HOMES. I'M SCARED ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. I'M MOST AFRAID OF THE POLLUTANTS. >> LIVING SO CLOSE TO WELD COUNTY HAS REALLY SCARED ME, AND I DON'T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN IN MY COMMUNITY. I'M MOLLY. I'M 13, AND I LIVE ON A FARM ON THE BORDER OF WELD COUNTY IN LONGMONT, COLORADO. THEY PUSH THE WATER DOWN INTO THE GROUND, AND THEY MIX IT WITH SAND AND CHEMICALS, AND SO THAT WATER IS RUINED, AND WE CAN'T USE IT ANYMORE. AND I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE IS THAT OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION HAPPENS NEAR FARMS WHERE FOOD IS GROWN, AND IF THOSE THINGS EVER HAPPENED TO CROSS PATHS, THAT COULD REALLY AFFECT THE FOOD THAT WE EAT, NOT JUST THE ANIMALS BUT US TOO. OUR COMMUNITY DIDN'T WANT FRACKING TO COME HERE, SO WE FOUGHT TO GET IT BANNED. I'VE GONE TO SOME OF THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS' MEETINGS, PROTEST RALLIES, AND I FEEL LIKE I DID MY PART BECAUSE WE DID GET IT BANNED. LONGMONT SAID, "YOU KNOW WHAT? THIS ISN'T OKAY. WE DON'T WANT THE OIL AND GAS PEOPLE TO COME HERE." >> WITHOUT FRACKING, NOT MUCH NATURAL GAS OR OIL WOULD BE PRODUCED FROM THE GROUND. I'M BEN. I'M 14 YEARS OLD. I LIVE IN CENTENNIAL, COLORADO, WHICH IS ABOUT 20 MILES AWAY FROM WELD COUNTY. I WOULD SUPPORT FRACKING OR DRILLING FOR NATURAL GAS IF IT CAME HERE TO CENTENNIAL. I THINK IT'S A COMPLETE WASTE NOT TO FRACK OR DRILL FOR NATURAL GAS BECAUSE WE HAVE THAT RESOURCE HERE, AND I THINK WE SHOULD GET AS MUCH OF IT AS WE CAN. OIL, NATURAL GAS, AND COAL ARE ALL EXAMPLES OF FOSSIL FUELS, BUT NATURAL GAS IS A LOT CLEANER. IT HAS LESS EMISSIONS INTO THE ATMOSPHERE. >> NATURAL GAS MIGHT BE THE CLEANEST COMPARED TO THE OTHER FOSSIL FUELS, BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN IT'S CLEAN. IT JUST MEANS IT'S CLEANER, AND THAT'S THE CATCH. [soft instrumental music] ♪ >> WHEN I WAS IN SIXTH GRADE, THEY STARTED THE GAS WELL ON OUR PLACE. AT FIRST, WE WERE A LITTLE NERVOUS AT THE TIME, BUT IT WAS A NEW KIND OF ADVENTURE. I'M JENNY. I'M 15 YEARS OLD, AND I'M FROM MONTROSE, PENNSYLVANIA. [machine clicks and hisses] WE HAVE TWO WELLS ON OUR PLACE. THE GAS COMPANY WANTED TO DRILL HERE BECAUSE WE HAVE A LOT OF MARCELLUS SHALE AROUND HERE. >> Ellerbee: SOME EXPERTS SAY THE MARCELLUS SHALE FORMATION HOLDS SO MUCH NATURAL GAS IT COULD BECOME THE SECOND LARGEST NATURAL GAS FIELD IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. >> WE'RE FIRST-GENERATION DAIRY FARMERS. THERE'S QUITE A BIT OF LAND. MY DAD SIGNED A LEASE FOR THE GAS PEOPLE TO DRILL ON OUR FARM. LEASING IS KIND OF LIKE RENTING. IT'S BEEN GOOD FOR OUR FAMILY BECAUSE WE FEEL LIKE WE HAVEN'T BEEN STRUGGLING AS MUCH AS WE DID. WE JUST GOT A NEW ROOF, AND ALSO WE'VE PAID OFF DEBT FOR OUR FARM. >> FRACKING'S IMPORTANT BECAUSE RIGHT NOW WE HAVE A LOT OF DEPENDENCY ON FOREIGN OIL, AND, LIKE, THAT GIVES THE OTHER COUNTRIES POWER OVER US, AND ALSO OUR ECONOMY'S NOT DOING WELL, AND IT CAN HELP GIVE MONEY TO PEOPLE WHO REALLY NEED IT AND PRODUCE JOBS, WHICH WE NEED. I'M JOSH, AND THIS IS MY SISTER, KAYLA, AND WE LIVE IN VESTAL, NEW YORK. WE LIVE ABOUT FIVE TO TEN MILES FROM THE PENNSYLVANIA BORDER. >> WELL, IT'S FRUSTRATING LIVING IN NEW YORK SO CLOSE TO PENNSYLVANIA BECAUSE THEY'RE FRACKING THE SAME NATURAL GAS DOWN THERE THAT WE HAVE UP HERE, BUT IN NEW YORK, FRACKING ISN'T ALLOWED RIGHT NOW. >> RIGHT NOW MY FAMILY'S STRUGGLING TO PAY THE BILLS. IF OUR FAMILY LEASED OUR LAND, WE COULD POTENTIALLY MAKE AN ESTIMATED $187,000 BEFORE TAXES. >> IN NEW YORK, THERE'S A MORATORIUM ON FRACKING, WHICH IS A TEMPORARY BAN, AND CURRENTLY THE FRACKING PROCESS IS UNDER REVIEW TO SEE IF IT WILL HAPPEN IN THIS STATE. I'M EMMA. AND THIS IS MIRA. WE LIVE IN ITHACA, NEW YORK, AND WE DO NOT WANT FRACKING IN OUR STATE. >> I LIVE IN AN AREA WHERE THERE'S A LOT OF WOODS. THERE'S A LOT OF NATURE, AND IT'S KIND OF HARD TO IMAGINE IT BEING DESTROYED BECAUSE OF FRACKING. >> THERE'S A LOT MORE THAN JUST ONE PROBLEM WITH FRACKING, SO... WE ARE A PART OF THE GROUP NEW YORK YOUTH AGAINST FRACKING. RECENTLY, OUR GROUP WENT TO ALBANY DURING THE GOVERNOR'S STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS TO ATTEND A RALLY. >> ONE OF THE MAIN GOALS IS TO SHOW THE GOVERNOR AND OTHER PEOPLE THAT THE YOUTH HAVE A VOICE IN THIS. >> IT SEEMS TO ME THAT IT'S FAIRLY OBVIOUS THAT THERE'S A LOT THAT CAN AND WILL GO WRONG WITH THIS PROCESS. FOR ONE, SHOOTING A MIXTURE OF PRESSURIZED CHEMICALS AND WATER AND SAND INTO THE GROUND NEAR GROUNDWATER SEEMS VERY RISKY TO ME. PEOPLE'S HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT SHOULD GO FIRST. >> SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE PEOPLE AGAINST IT ARE JUST, LIKE, "HE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING WITH THE ENVIRONMENT. HE JUST WANTS MONEY. THAT'S ALL THEY WANT." IT IS NOT TRUE BECAUSE WE DO CARE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT, BUT WE HONESTLY BELIEVE THAT FRACKING IS SAFE. >> IN NEW YORK CITY, WE GET OUR WATER FROM RESERVOIRS IN UPSTATE NEW YORK. IF THEY DRILL NEAR THAT AREA, THEY COULD CONTAMINATE OUR WATER SUPPLY. I'M TONI. I LIVE IN THE BRONX. I'M NOT AGAINST HYDROFRACKING ALTOGETHER BECAUSE NATURAL GAS DOES PROVIDE US WITH A CLEANER SOURCE OF ENERGY, BUT IT HAS TO BE TAKEN OUT OF THE GROUND WITH MORE CARE. >> I WISH THAT FRACKING HAD NEVER CAME ANYWHERE NEAR ME OR ANYBODY ELSE FOR THAT MATTER. I'M GRANT, AND I LIVE IN SMITHFIELD, PA. WE ARE RIGHT OVER THE MARCELLUS. MY PARENTS FOUND THIS LAND, FELL IN LOVE WITH IT, AND BOUGHT IT TO BUILD A HOUSE ON AND RETIRE. BEFORE WE EVEN BUILT THE HOUSE, WE CAME OVER, AND THEY WERE BULLDOZING ROADS THROUGH OUR FIELDS. THE WELLS JUST CAME IN EXTREMELY FAST ONE AFTER THE OTHER. THERE IS FOUR SHALLOW WELLS AND ONE MARCELLUS. THEY'RE ALLOWED TO DRILL HERE BECAUSE WE DON'T OWN THE RIGHTS TO THE NATURAL GAS, SO WE DON'T HAVE ANY SAY OVER WHAT'S HAPPENING. I WOULD JUST DESCRIBE IT AS A BIG GREEN UGLY MESS. >> IN ANY ONE STATE, THERE COULD BE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF WELLS, AND THAT MEANS THAT THIS IS AN INDUSTRY THAT WANTS US TO LIVE INSIDE THEIR INDUSTRIAL PARK. IN THE U.S., WE TRADITIONALLY HAVE ALWAYS DONE SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION BEFORE WE DEVELOP AND SELL A PRODUCT. THAT'S NOT THE CASE WITH OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY. IT'S THE REVERSE. IN MANY CASES, BEFORE THEY DID THE STUDIES, THEY STARTED DRILLING AND PRODUCING. >> YOU CANNOT PREDICT BY STUDY AHEAD OF TIME WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. YOU HAVE TO GO OUT IN THIS VERY COMPLEX PROCESS AND DISCOVER WHAT THE PROBLEMS ARE, AND THEN YOU ACT TO FIX THEM. >> IN MY OPINION, THE PROBLEM IS THAT WE DON'T HAVE VERY, VERY TOUGH REGULATIONS. THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY GENERALLY GETS A PASS AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL. AND SO WE'RE RELYING ON THE STATES TO DO WHAT IN OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WOULD DO TO PROTECT US. AND SOME STATES REGULATE VERY CLOSELY. OTHER STATES, NOT SO CLOSELY. >> THE COMMON NOTION IS THAT THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY IS EXEMPT FROM THE CLEAN WATER AND CLEAN AIR ACT. THE REALITY IS THAT WHEN INDUSTRY SPILLS SOMETHING, AND THAT SPILL ENTERS INTO A POND OR A STREAM, THEN THAT INDUSTRY IS IMMEDIATELY SUBJECTED TO THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF THE CLEAN WATER ACT. >> IF THEY WANT TO SEE PROBLEMS, THEY CAN COME VISIT MY LAND. WITHIN THE LAST YEAR, WE STARTED BECOMING MORE AWARE OF ALL THE PROBLEMS WITH THE WELLS. I REALLY STARTED TO BECOME ALARMED. RECENTLY, MY MOTHER HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH ASTHMA. MY LITTLE BROTHER HAS HAD TERRIBLE STOMACHACHES THAT DOCTORS CAN'T EXPLAIN. FOR ME, IT WAS TERRIBLE SKIN RASHES. HONESTLY, I BELIEVE IT IS THE GAS WELLS. ANOTHER THING I'M CONCERNED ABOUT IS METHANE GAS. IT COULD ESCAPE TO THE ENVIRONMENT WHEN THEY FRACK. WE HAVE A NATURAL SPRING. IT WAS JUST A SPRING BEFORE WHERE ANIMALS WOULD DRINK OUT OF IT, BUT AFTER THEY FRACTURED THESE WELLS, IT STARTED BUBBLING AND ANY KIND OF STRIKE OF A MATCH OR ANYTHING COULD SET IT OFF. I THINK FRACKING SHOULD BE A LOT MORE HEAVILY REGULATED, AND I BELIEVE THAT THEY SHOULD GIVE YOU A LIST OF WHAT IS IN THE CHEMICALS THAT GOES INTO THE FLUID. THAT'S WHY I FEEL SUSPICIOUS. IF THERE'S NOTHING WRONG LIKE THEY PUT IT OUT TO BE, WHY HIDE WHAT'S IN IT? >> WHEN I HEAR ABOUT PEOPLE HAVING TROUBLES WITH THEIR WELLS, LIKE, I THINK THAT'S JUST PRETTY MUCH BAD LUCK, BECAUSE WE'VE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH OUR WATER. I'VE NEVER BEEN NERVOUS ABOUT SPILLING THE NATURAL GAS OR HAVING IT IN THE AIR, AND I'VE NEVER SEEN BUBBLING WATER ON MY PROPERTY. I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT FARMERS NEED THE MONEY. WE PROVIDE FOOD, AND WHEN THE FARMERS ARE DOING WELL, THAT MEANS EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING WELL. WE TRUST THE GAS COMPANIES AROUND HERE. THEY'VE NEVER REALLY GIVEN US A REASON NOT TO TRUST THEM. WE DON'T HAVE TO STRESS FINANCIALLY AS MUCH AS WE USED TO. >> I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE KNOW THAT IT'S NOT AS SAFE AS THE INDUSTRY PUTS IT OUT TO BE. WHAT GOOD IS THE MONEY THAT YOU GET AND THE GAS IF YOU CAN'T BREATHE YOUR AIR OR DRINK YOUR WATER? >> Ellerbee: IN SOME PARTS OF THE COUNTRY, IT'S OIL THEY'RE AFTER WITH FRACKING. WILLISTON, NORTH DAKOTA, LIES ABOVE THE BAKKEN, A GIANT UNDERGROUND SHALE ROCK FORMATION LOADED WITH OIL AND NATURAL GAS. THE BAKKEN WAS DISCOVERED 60 YEARS AGO, BUT UNTIL RECENTLY, THE OIL AND GAS WERE UNREACHABLE. >> WITHOUT FRACKING HERE IN WILLISTON, OIL PRODUCTION WOULD BE BASICALLY USELESS. WE WOULD BE ABLE TO RECOVER ANY OIL. >> Ellerbee: NOW 700,000 BARRELS OF OIL ARE BEING PUMPED OUT OF THE BAKKEN EVERY DAY, MAKING NORTH DAKOTA THE SECOND LARGEST OIL-PRODUCING STATE IN AMERICA. ONLY TEXAS PRODUCES MORE. >> WILLISTON USED TO BE SUCH A SMALL TOWN, MOSTLY A FARMING CITY, YOU KNOW? BUT A LOT OF THINGS HAVE CHANGED. >> Ellerbee: THE BUSINESS OF FRACKING FOR OIL HAS TURNED SLEEPY WILLISTON INTO A BOOMTOWN WITH THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN THE COUNTRY. >> IT'S DEFINITELY CHANGED MY LIFESTYLE. >> WE ARE JORDAN, TY, TESSA, ANTHONY, AMY, AND COLTON, AND WE LIVE IN WILLISTON, NORTH DAKOTA. >> WE LIVE ON A 100-ACRE FARM. THERE WAS A LOT OF WIDE, OPEN SPACE BEFORE THIS, AND IT SEEMS LIKE IT'S JUST STARTING TO CLOSE IN. FROM MY HOUSE, I CAN SEE THE WELLS PUMPING. I CAN SEE DRILLING. ALL THE TIME, THERE'S PIPES BANGING TOGETHER. TRUCKS ALL NIGHT. IT SEEMS LIKE ALL THE ANIMALS ARE JUST LEAVING 'CAUSE OF ALL THE PEOPLE, ALL THE TRAFFIC, ALL THE NOISE. THERE IS A MASSIVE FLARE, HUGE, HALF A MILE AWAY FROM MY HOUSE. CAN'T BE GOOD. THIS IS ALL THE NATURAL GAS BURNING OFF. WHEN THEY FIRST DRILL FOR OIL, IT PUNCTURES THE NATURAL GAS, SO IT COMES OUT. THEY'RE JUST BURNING IT OFF IN HUGE AMOUNTS. ON A CLOUDY DAY, IT FILLS MY BEDROOM WITH LIGHT. MY FAMILY OWNS ALL THE LAND OUR FARM'S ON, BUT UNDERNEATH THE LAND--IT'S CALLED THE MINERAL RIGHTS, AND WE DON'T OWN THAT. SO NOW WHEN AN OIL COMPANY WANTS TO COME PUT A WELL ON OUR FARM, IT ONLY HAS TO BE 500 FEET AWAY FROM OUR HOUSE. THEY WOULD PAY US A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF MONEY. THE WAY I FEEL ABOUT THAT IS, I DON'T LIKE IT, AND I DON'T WANT IT HERE. >> MY DAD HADN'T BEEN WORKING FOR A YEAR IN KALISPELL, MONTANA, SO WE DECIDED TO GO TO WILLISTON WHERE A LOT OF MONEY WAS BEING MADE. A LOT OF PEOPLE MOVE HERE FOR JOBS. >> PEOPLE ARE COMING HERE IN WILLISTON, NORTH DAKOTA, THE LAST PLACE YOU'D EXPECT ANYTHING, TO GET A JOB. AND OUR COMMUNITY IS GROWING AND THRIVING. THEY'RE THINKING ABOUT BUILDING A MALL. IT'S INCREASING THAT MUCH. WILLISTON NEVER THOUGHT WE'D GET A MALL. >> WE'VE BUILT A LOT MORE HOTELS AND A LOT MORE APARTMENTS, AND THERE'S STILL SOME GOING UP, BUT THERE'S STILL NOT ENOUGH FOR EVERYBODY. PEOPLE ARE LIVING IN CAMPERS. >> WE WERE NOT READY FOR SO MANY PEOPLE THAT IT'S JUST-- IT'S OVERWHELMING. >> THE CLASSES ARE MORE CROWDED. THERE'S MORE DISTRACTIONS, AND WE ACTUALLY HAVE TO SHARE LOCKERS. FOR LUNCH, WE HAVE TO HAVE TWO SEPARATE CAFETERIAS 'CAUSE THERE'S SO MANY PEOPLE. WE HAVE THE ORIGINAL CAFETERIA FOR ONE TEAM, AND THEN WE HAVE TO USE HALF THE GYM FOR THE OTHER TEAM. IT'S CRAZY. >> THERE'S A LOT OF MONEY FOR PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR THE OIL INDUSTRY. MY FATHER WORKS IN AN OIL WELL SERVICE SUPERVISING THE WELLS. THIS IS DEFINITELY ONE OF THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITIES OF HIS LIFE. WE JUST BUILT A NEW HOUSE NOT EVEN A YEAR AGO, WHICH BECAUSE OF HIS JOB, HE'S GOTTEN MORE MONEY, ABLE TO PAY THAT. WE'VE GOTTEN A NEW TRUCK FOR THE WINTER, 'CAUSE HARSH WINTERS UP HERE IN NORTH DAKOTA. >> MY STEPDAD WORKS IN THE OIL FIELD. EVER SINCE THE BOOM, WE'VE BEEN TAKING MORE TRIPS, AND THAT'S BEEN GOOD FOR MY FAMILY. >> BEFORE THE BIG OIL BOOM HAPPENED, IT WAS VERY CALM AND PEACEFUL, NOT AS MUCH CAR ACCIDENTS OR CRIMES, AND IT WAS EASY TO GET AROUND. BUT THESE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS, THERE IS A LOT MORE NOISE BECAUSE OF THE TRAFFIC, AND THERE'S A LOT MORE LITTER TOO. >> WHAT I MISS ABOUT WILLISTON IS THAT YOU COULD JUST WALK AROUND TOWN AND KNOW EVERYBODY. >> NOW IT'S JUST LIKE, "WHO ARE YOU?" >> Ellerbee: FRACKING IS CHANGING NEIGHBORHOODS FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE. MORE WELLS, MORE RISK, THE BIGGEST BEING THAT WE DON'T KNOW THE LONG-TERM EFFECTS. >> ONE OF THE MOST WORRISOME THINGS IS THAT THERE'S NO WAY TO REALLY KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN, BECAUSE ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN. >> IF SOMETHING DOES COME UP, WE'LL DEAL WITH IT THEN. WE DON'T REALLY NEED TO WORRY ABOUT IT NOW. >> THERE ARE RISKS. BUT JUST WITH ABOUT ALMOST EVERY ENERGY SOURCE, THERE ARE RISKS. BUT I BELIEVE THAT THE BENEFITS OUTDOES THOSE RISKS. >> WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ALL OF THAT OIL AND GAS GETS USED UP? WHAT DO WE DO NEXT? WE'RE TOTALLY UNPREPARED. >> WE SHOULD TRY TO INVEST IN RENEWABLE SOURCES AS FAST AS WE CAN. >> NATURAL GAS IS TEMPORARILY THE BEST SOURCE OF ENERGY WE HAVE RIGHT NOW. >> I'M ALL FOR NATURAL GAS AND USING OUR OWN RESOURCES, BUT THERE'S GOT TO BE A SAFER, MORE PRACTICAL, LESS HAZARDOUS WAY TO DO IT. >> Ellerbee: SO WOULD FRACKING DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD, OR ARE THE BENEFITS GREATER THAN THE RISKS? AS YOU'VE SEEN, IT DEPENDS ON WHOM YOU ASK AND WHOM YOU BELIEVE. A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE STRONG FEELINGS ABOUT FRACKING. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO, IN THE END, WILL BE MOST AFFECTED? THAT WOULD BE YOU. NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT FRACKING? SIMPLE IS NEVER THE SAME AS EASY, IS IT? I'M LINDA ELLERBEE. >> SOMETIMES PEOPLE WILL SAY, "SINCE YOU ARE, UH, UH--" AND I GO, "BLIND?" AND THEY GO, "YEAH. YEAH, I WASN'T GONNA PUT IT THAT WAY, BUT YEAH." >> WHEN I HEAR MY FRIENDS TALK ABOUT, LIKE, "OH, WHEN I TURN 16, I'M GONNA GET A CAR," AND MY THING IS, I'M GONNA TURN 16, AND I'M GONNA GET A GUIDE DOG. >> SIGHTED PEOPLE CHOOSE THEIR CLOTHES BY USING THEIR VISION. FOR ME, I USE AN APPLICATION ON MY PHONE, WHICH TELLS ME THE COLOR OF CLOTHES. >> SOMETIMES I WISH I COULD SEE. IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE WHAT MY FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND I LOOK LIKE. >> I THINK BEING BLIND IS AN ADVANTAGE, BECAUSE I DON'T NEED TO SEE SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN IT. >> male announcer : THIS IS NICK NEWS WITH LINDA ELLERBEE. NOW FROM NEW YORK, HERE IS LINDA ELLERBEE. >> Ellerbee: IF YOU WANT TO MAKE SOMETHING HARDER, TRY DOING IT WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED. WALKING, RUNNING SEEM ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE. NOW TRY PICKING OUT AN OUTFIT, CHECKING YOUR E-MAIL, FINDING YOUR WAY TO SCHOOL. TRY FINDING YOUR LOCKER, YOUR CLASSROOM, YOUR DESK. TRY MAKING FRIENDS. AND THEN TRY TO IMAGINE THIS EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY 60,000 KIDS IN THE U.S. WHO ARE NOT TRYING IT AND DON'T GET TO STOP BEING BLIND WHEN THEY'RE TIRED OF IT. WE'RE ABOUT TO MEET SOME OF THESE KIDS. GET READY FOR SOME SURPRISES. >> WHEN I LOST MY SIGHT, I STARTED TO FEEL DEPRESSED. I WAS BUMPING INTO STUFF. I DIDN'T REALIZE WHERE STUFF WAS. I FELT LIKE I COULDN'T DO ANYTHING ANYMORE. MY NAME IS SANTIAGO, AND I'M FROM HOLLISTER, CALIFORNIA. WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, I HAD MORE VISION THAN I DO NOW. A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, I GOT AN INFECTION, WHICH BASICALLY MADE ME LOSE ALL OF MY VISION. RIGHT NOW I SEE TOTAL DARKNESS. >> SOME PEOPLE ASK ME, "WHAT DOES DARKNESS LOOK LIKE?" OR "DO YOU MIND NOT SEEING ANYTHING BUT JUST SEEING THE DARK?" AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT DARK IS. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT DARKNESS LOOKS LIKE, AND I GET AROUND LIKE THAT EVERY DAY. MY NAME IS XIN JU, BUT SOME PEOPLE CALL ME CAITLYN, AND I LIVE IN WISCONSIN. >> I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT I SEE. I GUESS IT'S JUST NOTHING. MY NAME IS CHRIS, AND I LIVE IN MARYLAND. WHEN A SIGHTED PERSON FIRST ENCOUNTERS A BLIND PERSON, IT CAN BE VERY AWKWARD. SOMETIMES PEOPLE WILL SAY, "SINCE YOU ARE, UH, UH--" AND I GO, "BLIND?" AND THEY GO, "YEAH. YEAH, I WASN'T GONNA PUT IT THAT WAY, BUT YEAH." I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH SOMEBODY USING THE WORD "BLIND." >> I'M VERY COMFORTABLE WITH BEING BLIND, SO I EXPRESS THAT, AND PEOPLE CAN TELL, SO IT MAKES THEM COMFORTABLE TOO. MY NAME IS BRITTANY, AND I LIVE IN VENTURA, CALIFORNIA. WHEN I WAS BORN, I WAS COMPLETELY BLIND, BUT I WENT THROUGH SEVERAL SURGERIES. NOW I CAN SEE SHAPES AND COLORS, AND THAT'S ABOUT IT. IF I AM ABOUT 1 TO 2 INCHES AWAY FROM AN OBJECT, I CAN SEE A LITTLE BIT OF THE DETAILS IN THE OBJECT. >> MAYBE I'LL FIND YOU A PUPPY DOG. I WAS BORN BLIND, WHICH I SEE AS A BLESSING. I MEAN, I CAN NEVER MISS WHAT I'VE NEVER HAD. MY NAME IS SOPHIE, AND I LIVE IN MANDEVILLE, LOUISIANA. I WAS BORN WITH A RARE GENETIC DISORDER CALLED FRASER SYNDROME. I LITERALLY WAS BORN WITH NO EYES. WE HAD TO CREATE EYE SOCKETS AND PUT IN THE ACRYLIC EYES. [dogs barking] I WAS IN A NICE KIND OF SMALLER TOWN. I HAVE A WONDERFULLY SUPPORTIVE FAMILY. MY PARENTS HAVE NEVER TREATED ME DIFFERENTLY. I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR FEEDING THE DOGS EVERY DAY AND, YOU KNOW, BRINGING MY DISHES TO THE SINK, STUFF LIKE THAT. >> WHAT ARE YOU EATING? >> TUNA SANDWICH. CAN I HAVE ONE? I LIVE WITH MY MOM, MY DAD, AND MY SISTER. THANK YOU. I USUALLY SPEND MOST OF MY TIME READING, WRITING, DOING SOME CHORES, AND LIKE, PLAYING WITH MY SISTER. >> THAT WAS YOUR SECOND PARAGRAPH. >> YOU GOT TO DO THREE. I FEEL THAT I CAN USE MY IMAGINATION TO UNDERSTAND THINGS IN MY OWN WAY. HE DIDN'T GET ANYTHING TO ME, BUT I GOT A GOOD KICK IN. SHE'LL HELP ME UNDERSTAND WHAT'S AROUND ME AND WHAT TO DO, AND I JUST FEEL SO GRATEFUL, BECAUSE SHE HAS SO MUCH PATIENCE FOR ME. [bright percussive music] I'M IN FIFTH GRADE AT SCHOOL. IN THE PAST, IT HAS BEEN HARD TO ADAPT TO WHAT THEY DO, BUT OVER THE YEARS, I'VE GOTTEN USED TO IT. I SOMETIMES FEEL LIKE KIDS KNOW MORE THAN ME BECAUSE THEY CAN SEE, AND I'LL HAVE TO ASK, AND I DON'T MIND ASKING, BUT SOMETIMES I JUST KIND OF FEEL LIKE THE ODDBALL. >> I ATTEND MANDEVILLE HIGH SCHOOL. GETTING AROUND IS A BIT OF A CHALLENGE. THAT'S WHY I HAVE AN AIDE AT SCHOOL. I ATTEND THE SAME CLASSES AS SIGHTED KIDS. I READ THE SAME BOOKS AS THEM, AND I ENJOY THE SAME ACTIVITIES AS THEM. >> OKAY, TURN LEFT. FIND THE DOORWAY. FIND THE DOORWAY. >> LAST YEAR, WHEN I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL, I OVERHEARD PEOPLE SAYING, YOU KNOW, "HE'S GOING TO HAVE A HARD TIME, A VERY DIFFICULT TIME, AND POSSIBLY EVEN FAIL IN NAVIGATION AND ACADEMICS." I STARTED TO LOSE HOPE, AND I WAS ACTUALLY CONSIDERING GOING TO A SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND. AND LUCKILY, I DECIDED NOT TO GO THERE, BECAUSE HONESTLY, I THINK THE SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND, IT TEACHES BLIND PEOPLE, BUT IT ALSO ISOLATES THEM FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD. AN ACTOR. >> AN ACTOR. EXCELLENT. >> I WANT TO LIVE IN THE SIGHTED WORLD, NOT A SEPARATE, YOU KNOW, SPECIALIZED BLIND WORLD. >> OH, ONE PIN! >> I HANG OUT WITH FRIENDS AT LUNCH. YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES WE'LL SMALL TALK BEFORE CLASS. I'M FORTUNATE THAT THE KIDS IN MY SCHOOL TREAT ME VERY WELL. I'VE HEARD OF BULLY BECAUSE OF BLINDNESS, BUT THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED TO ME. >> SOMETIMES I EXPERIENCE MEANNESS, BULLYING FROM PEOPLE. I THINK SOME PEOPLE SEE MY BLINDNESS AS AN EASY TARGET FOR BULLYING, FOR RIDICULE, FOR, YOU KNOW, TAKING ADVANTAGE OF MY BLINDNESS. >> IN MIDDLE SCHOOL, KIDS WOULD TEASE ME. LIKE, THEY WOULD TAKE MY PENCILS AND HIDE THEM, 'CAUSE THEY KNOW I COULDN'T SEE THEM. ONE KID CALLED ME "CYCLOPS" ONCE. ALSO, ANOTHER KID SAID I WAS FAKE BEING BLIND, BECAUSE I'M NOT COMPLETELY BLIND. >> SOME COMMENTS ARE, "OH, LOOK AT THE BLIND GIRL. SHE CAN WALK." AND I FIND THAT, LIKE, TOTALLY RIDICULOUS. AND SO I WANT TO PROVE MYSELF TO THEM. I WANT TO PROVE TO THEM THAT I CAN DO ANYTHING THEY CAN DO AND THAT I WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY OF THIS NONSENSE THAT'S BEEN SPOKEN ABOUT BLIND PEOPLE. >> I'M THE ONLY BLIND STUDENT IN MY SCHOOL. EVERY YEAR I TRY TO MAKE IT A POINT TO SPEAK TO THE WHOLE CLASS ABOUT MY BLINDNESS. YES, I'M TOTALLY BLIND. I WAS BORN BLIND. BUT YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. >> HAVE YOU EVER, LIKE, BEEN UPSET ABOUT BEING BLIND? >> NOT REALLY. I MEAN, I'VE ALWAYS BEEN BLIND, SO IT'S ALWAYS KIND OF BEEN A FACT OF LIFE FOR ME. WHAT I REALLY WANT OTHER KIDS TO KNOW ABOUT ME IS, I'M BLIND, AND I'M NOT ASHAMED OF IT AND THAT BLIND PEOPLE ARE PRETTY MUCH NORMAL PEOPLE, JUST LIKE ANYBODY ELSE. BUT WE JUST MIGHT DO THINGS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY. >> I DON'T BELIEVE THAT BEING VISUALLY IMPAIRED LIMITS ME IN ANY WAY. FOR INSTANCE, I CAN'T DRIVE, SO I JUST HAVE TO TAKE THE BUS. IT DOESN'T MAKE ME SAD THAT I CAN'T DRIVE. WHEN I HEAR MY FRIENDS TALK ABOUT, LIKE, "OH, WHEN I TURN 16, I'M GONNA GET A CAR." AND MY THING IS, I'M GONNA TURN 16, AND I'M GONNA GET A GUIDE DOG. >> SIGHTED PEOPLE CHOOSE THEIR CLOTHES BY USING THEIR VISION. FOR ME, I USE AN APPLICATION ON MY PHONE, WHICH TELLS ME THE COLOR OF CLOTHES. >> GREY. >> I CAN KNOW WHAT COLOR MY CLOTHES ARE, BECAUSE MY CLOSET IS DIVIDED INTO DIFFERENT SECTIONS INDICATED BY A COAT HANGER WITH A BRAILLE LABEL ON IT. SO I KNOW THAT EVERYTHING TO THE RIGHT OF THE HANGER LABELED "PURPLE" IS PURPLE. I WORK WITH A CANE, BECAUSE I CAN DETECT OBSTACLES IN FRONT OF ME, AND I CAN FEEL, LIKE, WHEN THE SIDEWALK IS TURNING. >> WALKING AROUND, ESPECIALLY CROSSING STREETS, IT CAN BE SCARY. I HAVE A MOBILITY INSTRUCTOR, AND HE SHOWS ME HOW TO NAVIGATE. >> YEAH, WE'RE GONNA BE LISTENING FOR THE AUDIBLE SIGNAL AGAIN AS WELL AS LISTENING TO PARALLEL TRAFFIC. >> YOU USE YOUR OTHER SENSES FOR A REPLACEMENT FOR YOUR EYESIGHT. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU'RE CROSSING THE STREET, YOU HAVE TO HEAR TO KNOW WHERE THE CARS ARE. >> MY FAVORITE SPORT IN THE WHOLE WIDE UNIVERSE IS SNOW SKIING. I HAVE AN INSTRUCTOR, WHO HAS A LONG BAMBOO POLE. I HOLD ON TO ONE END OF THE POLE, AND MY INSTRUCTOR HOLDS ON TO THE OTHER END. >> LEFT TURN. >> HE'LL VERBALLY TELL ME, "TURN LEFT, TURN RIGHT." AND MY SKIS ARE VERY ATTUNED TO THE WAY THE SNOW FEELS, SO I CAN KIND OF READ THE SNOW AND TELL WHICH WAY TO TURN. >> I DO USE A LAPTOP COMPUTER, WHICH IS JUST A STANDARD LAPTOP COMPUTER, BUT IT ALSO HAS A SCREEN READER SOFTWARE BUILT INTO IT. [indistinct electronic speech] I USE E-MAIL AND ALL THAT ONLINE STUFF. >> I WOULD SAY-- >> I TAKE IN INFORMATION MOSTLY VERBALLY, BUT ALSO, IF I DO NEED TO SEE SOMETHING, I HAVE TO USE A MACHINE CALLED A CCTV, AND IT ENLARGES THINGS ON A TV. I ONLY WISH I HAD FULL SIGHT WHEN I'M DOING HOMEWORK AND IT'S TAKING ME WAY TOO LONG. >> I USE A DEVICE CALLED A BRAILLENOTE. INSTEAD OF A MONITOR ABOVE THE KEYBOARD LIKE Y'ALL ARE USED TO SEEING, MY COMPUTER HAS A STRIP RUNNING ALONG THE BOTTOM, AND THAT STRIP IS CALLED A REFRESHABLE BRAILLE DISPLAY. AND WHEN I READ OR WRITE OR INPUT A COMMAND, BRAILLE APPEARS ON THAT DISPLAY. BRAILLE IS MADE UP OF DOTS, AND THOSE DOTS CAN BE FORMED INTO MANY COMBINATIONS. EACH COMBINATION OF DOTS REPRESENTS A LETTER OR SYMBOL. MANY PEOPLE ASK ME, "OH--" THEY SAY, "OH, WOW. HOW DO YOU LEARN BRAILLE? THAT SOUNDS SO HARD." AND MY FAVORITE RESPONSE TO THAT QUESTION IS, "HOW DID YOU LEARN PRINT? THAT SOUNDS SO HARD. LIKE, THOSE SQUIGGLY LINES, CRAZINESS. HOW DO YOU READ THAT?" >> MOM INCOMING. MOM-- >> THANK GOD I WAS BORN IN MODERN TIMES. WITH ALL THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY THAT'S BEEN COMING OUT, MANY DOORS ARE OPENING. >> SINCE I LOST MY SIGHT COMPLETELY, THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF LEARNING INVOLVED, A LOT OF OBSTACLES, A LOT OF CHANGES, AND A LOT OF THINGS TO GET USED TO. >> SOMETIMES IT IS FRUSTRATING WHEN PEOPLE OOH AND AH AT SOMETHING AND I CAN'T SEE IT. AND THEN WHEN I ASK, THEY TRY TO EXPLAIN, AND IT'S USUALLY NO HELP. >> PEOPLE WILL BE LAUGHING BECAUSE OF FACIAL EXPRESSIONS OR, YOU KNOW, A JOKE, BUT IT WAS A VISUAL JOKE, AND SITTING THERE AND HEARING EVERYONE LAUGH IS KIND OF DIFFICULT, 'CAUSE YOU'RE LIKE, "WELL, I WANT TO LAUGH TOO, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M LAUGHING AT." >> ONE TIME I WAS IN THE NAIL SALON WITH MY MOM, AND THE WOMAN WAS TALKING TO HER LIKE I WASN'T EVEN THERE ASKING HER WHAT I WANTED. THAT'S SO FRUSTRATING. IT MADE ME REALLY ANGRY. >> PEOPLE MIGHT SEE ME, AND THEY'LL SEE THE CANE, AND THEY'LL BE LIKE, "OH, BLIND PERSON." AND THEY HAVE A LOT OF ASSUMPTIONS. AND AS A RESULT OF THAT, THEY HAVE A LOT OF MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT BLINDNESS. WELL, THE CLASSIC ONE IS WHEN YOU'RE IN THE AIRPORT AND THE AIRPORT EMPLOYEE COMES RUNNING UP TO YOU AND GOES, "DO YOU NEED A WHEELCHAIR? LET ME GET YOU A WHEELCHAIR." AND YOU'RE LIKE, "HOW DO YOU THINK I GOT OFF THE PLANE?" YOU KNOW, BLIND PEOPLE, WE'LL TALK AMONGST OURSELVES OR GET ON LISTSERVS AND THEN START LAUGHING AT WHAT WE CALL SUPERHELPERS AND HOW THEY JUST WON'T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER. >> ACTUALLY, MY PROBLEM IS PEOPLE NOT HELPING ENOUGH. THEY OVERESTIMATE HOW MUCH I CAN SEE, SO I'LL ASK FOR HELP AND LIKE, "OH, CAN YOU PLEASE SHOW ME WHERE THE PUNCH IS?" OR I MIGHT BE AT A PARTY, AND THEY'LL POINT, AND I CAN'T, YOU KNOW, SEE THEIR HANDS INSTEAD OF THEM, YOU KNOW, GUIDING ME OVER TO THE PUNCH BOWL >> ONE THING THAT BLIND PEOPLE WILL FREQUENTLY ASK FOR, A SIGHTED GUIDE. SIGHTED GUIDE IS WHEN THERE'S A SIGHTED PERSON WITH YOU AND YOU WOULD HOLD THEIR WRIST, AND THEY WOULD WALK IN FRONT OF YOU AND GUIDE YOU AND MAKE SURE YOU DON'T RUN INTO ANYTHING AND MAKE SURE YOU'RE GOING THE RIGHT DIRECTION. OTHERWISE, BLIND PEOPLE ARE VERY INDEPENDENT, BUT IF A BLIND PERSON ASKS FOR HELP, THEN YOU CAN GIVE IT IF YOU WANT TO, BUT IF THEY DON'T ASK FOR HELP, THEN YOU SHOULD PROBABLY WAIT FOR THEM TO ASK FOR HELP. >> Ellerbee: THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT SIGNED INTO LAW IN 1990 PROHIBITS DISCRIMINATION AGAINST PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND GUARANTEES THEM EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES AND ACCESS. BUT THERE ARE TIMES WHEN THE SIGHTED WORLD LEAVES THE BLIND BEHIND, AND THERE ARE KIDS DETERMINED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT. >> THIS WEBSITE LOOKS TO BE REALLY INACCESSIBLE. >> A BIG PROBLEM THESE DAYS FOR BLIND PEOPLE IS TO ACCESS SOCIAL MEDIA SITES ON THEIR COMPUTERS. SO WHAT ME AND A GROUP OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS HAVE DONE IS CREATE AN APPLICATION THAT ALLOWS BLIND PEOPLE TO ACCESS THE SAME SOCIAL NETWORK SITES THAT SIGHTED PEOPLE USE. WITHOUT OUR APPLICATION, THESE SITES ARE EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO NAVIGATE FOR A BLIND PERSON. THIS APPLICATION OF OURS JUST MAKES IT WAY EASIER FOR BLIND PEOPLE TO BE A PART OF THE REST OF THE WORLD. >> YOU KNOW, THERE'S A SAYING IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT THAT GOES, "NONE OF US ARE FREE UNTIL ALL OF US ARE FREE." IF ONE BLIND PERSON IS DISCRIMINATED AGAINST, THAT'S A PROBLEM FOR ALL BLIND PEOPLE. I'M A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND. I JUST WANTED TO CALL YOU. WE WORK TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT WHAT BLINDNESS IS AND WHAT BLINDNESS ISN'T. BUT THE PROBLEM WITH THEM IS THAT THEY'RE INACCESSIBLE TO BLIND PEOPLE. >> ACCESSIBILITY IS A BIG ISSUE FOR THE BLIND COMMUNITY. BLIND PEOPLE WANT TO BE AS INDEPENDENT AS POSSIBLE. THAT'S KIND OF HARD TO DO WHEN YOU WALK INTO A RESTAURANT AND DISCOVER, "I CAN'T EVEN ORDER WITHOUT HELP." MY DAD AND I CAME UP WITH THE IDEA OF TRANSLATING PRINT MENUS INTO BRAILLE. I GOT A GREAT AMOUNT OF SUPPORT FOR IT. RESTAURANTS SENT ME THEIR MENUS AS AN E-MAIL ATTACHMENT, AND I TRANSLATED IT INTO BRAILLE. WHEN I GO TO THE RESTAURANTS TO USE BRAILLE MENUS, IT'S REALLY EMPOWERING. >> GETTING HUNGRY? >> I MEAN, THAT'S ONE MORE THING I CAN DO INDEPENDENTLY. >> ♪ ENERGY ♪ AND YOUR FACE I DON'T BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE TO GIVE UP YOUR DREAMS BECAUSE YOU'RE VISUALLY IMPAIRED OR BLIND. ♪ CLOSE MY EYES ♪ AND DARE TO FIGHT ONE OF MY DREAMS IS TO BE A SINGER/SONGWRITER. >> I THINK COMPUTER PROGRAMMING WILL BE MY FUTURE, YOU KNOW, MAYBE EVEN MAKE A GOOD ENOUGH APPLICATION TO OPEN UP MY OWN COMPANY. >> I'D LIKE TO HAVE SOME KIND OF CAREER WHERE I'M HELPING OTHER PEOPLE. ONE OF THE BIG THINGS I'M THINKING ABOUT IS BEING A TEACHER. >> "PEOPLE FROLIC IN THE MEADOWS AND GENTLE HILLS. MANY OF THEM ARE CHILDREN." WRITING IS TRULY MY PASSION. I MEAN, THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO DO WHEN I GROW UP. I DON'T WANT TO BE KNOWN AS THE BLIND GIRL. I WANT TO KNOWN AS THAT COOL WRITER WHO, OH, HAPPENS TO BE BLIND. >> I THINK BEING BLIND IS AN ADVANTAGE, BECAUSE I DON'T NEED TO SEE SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN IT. WE USE OUR HEARTS AND OUR IMAGINATIONS. >> [speaking indistinctly] >> BEING BLIND ISN'T A SAD THING FOR ME. IT'S REALLY NOT AS BAD AS SIGHTED PEOPLE MAKE IT OUT TO BE. SOMETIMES I WISH I COULD SEE. IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE WHAT MY FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND I LOOK LIKE. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE FOR ONE DAY, AND THEN THAT WOULD BE GOOD FOR ME. >> Ellerbee: WE'VE MET SOME EXTRAORDINARY KIDS, AND WE'VE LISTENED TO WHAT THEY WANT SIGHTED KIDS TO KNOW ABOUT THEM, WHICH IS, IN MOST CASES, THAT THEY'RE JUST REGULAR KIDS. AND WHAT'S MORE, HAVING LOST THEIR SIGHT, THEY TRY TO GIVE US SOME INSIGHT. GET TO KNOW THEM. THEN YOU'LL SEE. I'M LINDA ELLERBEE.