A thousand words beyond the Hill

Tyler Pelan

Kayla Ridgeway, 9, right, ties her shoe while her older sister, Patricia Garcia, talks to her about straightening her hair for tomorrow’s school day.

Seventeen-year-old Garcia carries more responsibility than most other teenagers in Nelson County, helping her parents raise her seven younger siblings, who range in age from 2 to 11.

“I have to put them before me,” she said.

Garcia has been on the honor roll since she was a high school freshman. Some of her responsibilities at home include feeding, disciplining and helping with homework – before and after school. She usually gets around to doing her own homework after her brothers and sisters go to bed around 8 p.m.

“Sometimes I just want to pull my hair out,” Garcia said. “Usually I get away at school. I get out about once a week.”

Tyler Pelan is a junior photojournalism major from Champaign, Ill. He can be reached at [email protected]