I was 18 when I got on a greyhound bus that took me from my family's central Wisconsin dairy farm to the Grand Rapids Michigan Job Corps. I hadn't been told that the majority of the kids there were black and from Detroit. I had never known anyone who was nonwhite before. The first night I spent in my room with three black roommates, I thought they would kill me. After a few days, we all got along and became friends. I spent a year there and had many friends who had grown up very differently than I had. It was an invaluable lesson in life, to see and appreciate people beyond the culture I had grown up in. Still today, I feel respect for other people even though their lives seem so different from mine. There is a core human connection that we all have, that surpasses our differences.
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