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Chris Fane's Student Ministry News

A youth ministry blog consisting of a collection of articles and notes related to
student / youth ministry. Gathered by Chris Fane of egadideas.com

Hurricane Katrina Evacuee Students Still Trying To Fit In


HOUSTON, Texas (AP) -- The badge dangling from Sabrina Hernandez's neck identifies her as a Hastings High senior. The oversized button with the smiling picture of Sabrina in her black-and-gold uniform tells you she's a member of the Bears cheerleading squad.

As she glides down the crowded concrete halls, nothing about the bubbly 18-year-old in the pink Barbie T-shirt and silver-sequined tennis shoes says "evacuee" or "refugee" or "victim."

That's not how the Kenner, Louisiana, girl sees herself. And that's not how she wants others to see her, either.

"I'm just like them," Sabrina says in a soft, shy voice. "Some people have a problem with us, but I'm just like them."



In the more than half year since Hurricane Katrina turned the world upside down, thousands of students like Sabrina, and the schools that have taken them in, have had to walk a fine line. Between fitting in here and loyalty to friends back home.

Between celebrating differences and seeking common ground.

Between asking too many questions -- and not enough.

Between "us" and "them."

"For the most part they have pretty much settled in," says Bronwyn Lucas, support counselor at sprawling Elsik High School, which, along with Hastings, is part of the Alief Independent School District.

"For so many of them it's, 'I can't go back.' There isn't anything to go back to. This is it. You have to play the hand you've been given -- ugly hand that it is.

"And they're playing it."

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