Iowa City teen Kasey Dawson overcame homelessness and loss to graduate high school. A year later, she’s still fighting for a place to call her own.

In January 2019, Little Village received an email submission from a City High senior named Kasey Dawson titled “My Life Story.” “I never understood what it meant to be depressed,” it began. Over a nearly 2,000-word essay, the 17-year-old reflected on her life, including the events that helped shape her depression: Her father robbing and […]

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‘This fight isn’t over’: Iowa City’s student-led gun reform movement, one year after Parkland

Before news of the shooting in Parkland, Florida started to spread through City High on Feb. 14, 2018, I was mostly worried about the flower I was giving to my newly minted boyfriend, Theo, for Valentine’s Day. That’s what my teenage life feels like: Every little thing is the decision of a lifetime, until something big throws life into harsh chiaroscuro. […]

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The Hops: Cleaning up Kinnick

The sun has yet to rise but the full moon still hovers over the western horizon. Its pale light illuminates the trash strewn parking lot behind Kinnick Stadium. Cars dodge garbage bags and piles of disposable plates; the crunch-crunch of stray cans and plastic cups under their tires echoes across the lot. A dozen people, […]

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100 Percent

Henri Harper filled a difficult position at Iowa City’s City High School for the last 11 years as the juvenile court liaison, helping students transition back into the classroom after personal and legal problems instead of letting them become part of a drop-out statistic. But in December 2007, after a series of fights at City High, Harper realized that his official post at the school wasn’t enough. Along with students, their parents and community support, Harper started the Fas Trac College Bound Program–originally consisting of six black students but eventually growing to more than 40 students from all backgrounds.


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Iowa to Me

“Stand up and introduce yourself,” said Mrs. B. “Umm…Hi, my name is Bonkuya. Nice to meet you all,” I said. These were the first words to have ever exited my mouth when I first got to City High. I was new to Iowa, and even though I had lived here for about a week before […]

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