Reese Dummer, 18, USA


Reese, 18 years, american student. Photo credit : Nam Le Cat Phuong

“When reflecting back on myself, I focus on my childhood. A lot of kids, at least most of my friends, didn’t have the same kind of childhood. A big part of that was my summer. I was born in Michigan and moved to Oregon. My dad started a music festival in Michigan, he hated Portland. Every summer I went back to Michigan. He had this deep attachment to that place. I went to that hippie alternative school in Portland. I met my bestfriends there. Kids from my school lived far from my home. Most of the people I grew up with were older people. When I arrived to the “normal” high school, I realized how different it was. Friendgroups were already set up. I was the only person coming from my alternative school. It was bad. I felt depressed, it was hard not having that connection with people that I used to have. My bestfriend left for 6 months, it was hard. When he came back, I started building my identity. I started smoking, it was an easy way to make friends. It was just easier. Still I felt alone. My bestfriend and I spent a lot of time together smoking. I would never ever interact with the people of my school. Then my bestfriend had to go to rehab. It was difficult, he suddenly stopped talking to me. It was scary, for like a week and a half I had no news of him. I was trying to be friend with everyone, in each groups. By Junior year, it kinda worked, people started to like me more. I was open and doing things that “cool people” do, smoking, drinking… Now I realized that I can make friends as me, the real me. At the end of Senior year, I end up being quite popular because I ended up making friends and understanding how to talk to the others. I feel so lucky to be here at IPC where people sincerely love the real me.”