StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.
Robert Stokely couldn't sleep while his son was in Iraq with the National Guard. In 2005, Michael Stokely was killed by a roadside bomb. A few years later, Robert headed to Iraq himself, to find the spot where his son had died.
Adrian Hawkins (left) with his foster father, Horace Atwater Jr., at a visit to StoryCorps in Atlanta. Horace took in Adrian when he was 14 years old.
Shengqiao Chen spent two and a half years at York County prison while his asylum case was pending. He has been living in the United States for longer than he lived in China, and has no immediate family left in his native Fujian Province. Few people call him by his Chinese given name any longer — his wife and children know him only as Sean.
Shengqiao Chen and Zehao Zhou met 20 years ago after a ship that was smuggling Chinese immigrants into the U.S. ran aground just outside New York City.
May 31, 2013 In 2004, Peter Obetz was in the middle of a divorce when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He says the news was not only a wake-up call for him to change his life, but it also brought him closer to his friend Jeff Jarrett. He's been cancer-free since 2009.
May 3, 2013 For decades, Alexis Martinez, born Arthur, had to mask her transgender identity by "being as macho as I could be." But in a visit to StoryCorps, she tells her daughter how, with her family's acceptance, she's finally been able to live as a woman full-time.
April 26, 2013 Herman Blake and his six siblings struggled so much during the '40s that one brother decided to drop out of school and help support the family. A friend of the family stepped in and made sure that didn't happen, despite her own meager means. That sacrifice taught the Blake children the value of an education.
April 19, 2013 Jack Richmond was a young father when his leg was crushed in a work accident. Though in denial at first that it would need to be amputated, he quickly realized he could share his experience to help other amputees, as he tells his daughter, Reagan, on a visit to StoryCorps.