Community Stories

A Letter from Students at Yes Prep

Jacob Hernandez's Sixth Grade Class

Jacob Hernandez is currently a teacher at Yes Prep Southeast near Pasadena. This area of Houston was one of the hardest hit areas. Post-Harvey, Mr. Hernandez conducted a writing assignment where students wrote letters to a main character from the novel they were reading about their experiences with Harvey. After gathering these 137 responses, Mr. Hernandez aggregated one class letter composed of different sentences from these students. In the final letter, each sentence has been provided by a different student.

Photograph by a co-worker of Mr. Hernandez

Dear Ivan,

The last two weeks have been… I don’t even know.  Watching the news, they said Hurricane Harvey was going to be a Category 3. Then they said it was going to be a Category 4. At first, we didn’t even know there was a Hurricane. There were like 2 or 3 families that came over to my house to watch the fight. At the beginning we thought it was just going to be a thunderstorm, but everyone was wrong. Pasadena was hit the hardest on Saturday night; when it started raining, nobody in my family thought it was a big deal. Water started to rush into the house and when I saw my Dad, I could tell by the look on his face that he was worried.  It rained so hard that it was unsafe to go downstairs. My winter clothes are now gone, and I felt so sad because all of my mom’s hard work was just floating around.  At this point, my parents told us it was time to evacuate.  We got on a boat and left to a shelter where we stayed for two nights.  On Sunday, my Mom and Dad were so tired from staying up all night. I was worried that my whole house would be eaten by the storm. When we were finally able to head back, luckily only the first floor of my house had damage. I hurt for the people who passed away because of Hurricane Harvey. During the evacuation I kept thinking something would happen to my family.  Now, I lay awake at night thankful of the fact that I was one of the lucky ones.  I am worried about the other Hurricanes, Jose and Irma. It scares me because I saw the city that I’ve lived in for years get ruined.  But one thing that I know is Houston will not give up.  We will fight back and stand up. Even though I am frustrated, I am also inspired by the kindness and generosity that I’ve seen.  Neighbors have been so nice and sweet and so many people have been helping others. People were donating things like clothes, shoes, school supplies, and money. I will be alright, and Houston will be alright. I know it. 

-6th Graders at Southeast