A young boy from the Dominican republic trying to find his way around America in the urban neighborhoods of Hartford, Connecticut. Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Rony Santos resides in Hartford, Connecticut. The 16 year old landed here in Connecticut in the summer of 2015. At that time, he did not know any english. “I did not feel welcome because I had a hard time in school trying to blend in with Americans,” he said. As a young boy from the Dominican Republic, it was a struggle for Santos to assimilate himself into the American society coming from a completely different one.
Growing up in a single parent household with just his dad in America impacted him as well. “I hadn’t seen my mom in four years when I went to the Dominican Republic last November. It was really emotional for me.” The 16 year old senior said. Not being able to see his mom just made him feel even more farther from his home in the Dominican Republic. Even though he often felt homesick and out of place in America, he began attending school and started participating in sports and making new interactions with different people.
Over time, he found a friend he could confide in and he helped him through middle school when he first came to the U.S and entered 6th grade. Being in the U.S, he made sure to keep his culture with him in his heart. “Every February 27th, I celebrate Dominican independence day with my family even when I’m in America,” he told me. After having a hard time assimilating into the daily life in American schools,grocery stores, neighborhoods, he began to figure out a way to maintain pride in his culture and be an Hispanic American. Rony started running track for his high school in 9th grade. He says, “Doing activities like that were fun, I started feeling more welcome as I began socializing more.” It seems, connecting more with other kids from school brought Santos out of his shell and he felt more comfortable in a different setting. Despite his obstacles as a Dominican boy living in the United States, he still thrived his way through life. He is currently working on getting a degree in engineering in his college application process. “I want to be something,” he says.