"I'm no longer afraid to say that I'm human too." - Francia, from Peru.
That's a quote from story number 46 from the "Voices Heard" project, a gathering of 100 stories from immigrants who moved to America in search of a better life.
Immigration is a hot topic these days, with the extremes of asylum seekers risking death to cross oceans, to boarder fences, to political arguments about who has the right to call a place home, all making news around the world.
In amongst all the faces of immigration, the lives lost and new lives started, the human stories are often overlooked somewhere between statistics and politics.
That's why the "Voices Heard" project stood out. It's an attempt to "humanize the immigration debate" by recording the joys, pains, frustrations, hope, dreams, and successes of American immigrants, and it's all created by an arts student who himself is an immigrant.
If you've ever lived in a foreign country chances are you can identify with some of these stories and can find a great deal of sameness in the experiences. On a purely human level the hope that exists for a better life is something everyone who has every longed for something better can understand, and it's that sameness that allows us to empathize with these stories.
You can click through to the Voice Heard website HERE to see the stories.