What's Happening Here

What’s Happening Here is a podcast hosted by Katie Shepherd about pivotal moments in people’s lives that define who we are and the stories we tell.


10 Mary | My Mother Told Me Not to Cry

10 Mary | My Mother Told Me Not to Cry Mary and her family were forced to leave their home because of the civil war in their country, Sierra Leone. They spent years living in hiding in Guinea, going without education and often without food. Mary’s essay explores the long, difficult years of being displaced […]


09 Matt | The Big Man

A few days before the annual speech day, one of the students named Matt who was selected to share his story decides to drop out. Matt’s teachers, Ms. Susan and Ms. Cinzia, work together to figure out if he is merely perpetuating his usual habit of not completing work or if he is actually just nervous to […]


08 Angie and Jonathan | Face It

Angie and Jonathan both have something in common. Yes, they are both immigrant teenagers getting accustomed to life in America after moving from Columbia and Honduras, and yes, they both go to Manhattan International High School. But beyond all that, in this episode they are encouraged to face internal anxieties through the power of teamwork and community. […]


07 Fatime | A Matter of the Mind

Fatime grew up in the Ivory Coast but spent most of her childhood moving from place to place because of her mother’s struggle with a mood disorder. When Fatime’s brother dies suddenly, she is forced to look after her mother who struggles to cope. In her essay, Fatime explores her complicated feelings towards her mother […]


06 Ms. Cinzia | The English Teacher

Ms. Cinzia is in her seventh year teaching 12th grade English at Manhattan International High School. Every year, she collaborates with Ms. Susan, a communications teacher, to help her students use writing as a way to learn more about themselves and their places in the world. In this episode, Ms. Cinzia shares the story of […]


05 Zi Khai | The Rule of Threes

When Zi Khai first moved from China to America, he and his mother lived in Kentucky to help with the family restaurant. Zi Khai was only twelve years old at the time and quickly learned that life can be difficult in a new place when you don’t know all of the rules. In this episode, […]


04 Christopher | Because of the Money

Growing up in The Dominican Republic, Christopher was always embarrassed by his family’s financial situation. He often felt as though people were looking down him because of all his family didn’t have. Through the process of writing his essay, Christopher not only discovers what’s really important to him but where exactly the judgment is coming […]


03 Erica | Alone

Erica is from Taiwan with dreams of one day becoming a heart surgeon. She moves to America in order to pursue her goal, but the journey quickly proves to be a lonely one. Through sharing her essay with her classmates, Erica learns to accept the difficulties that come along with her choices.


02 Sana | In Light of Compromise

Sana is a senior at Manhattan International High School. She was born in Pakistan but left the country to live in America with her father when she was a young teenager. In her essay, Sana explores what it means to feel confident about herself and connected to the people around her. Through working with her […]