Tyrese Graham is a second-year science teacher at John Marshall Metropolitan High School on the West Side of Chicago. When he started teaching there, Marshall was among the worst public schools in the city.
When Graham walked into his first class, he could hardly speak over the noise of the students. He tried to make a point by not talking.
"I'll let you finish, but realize, every moment that I'm not talking and providing you instruction, you guys will be giving that back to me," he told them.
Graham's remarks were met with a sharp rebuke from one of his students.
Dennis McLaughlin interviewed his mom, Theresa, to thank her for how she raised him. Born in 1948 with spina bifida, he was missing several vertebrae and was unable to use his legs. Theresa was a single mom, working in a paper mill near Portland, Maine.
"When you were 1 year old, your grandfather McLaughlin built you a little wheelchair," Theresa says, "built it out of wood that he had and wheels from a tricycle, and you got around in that very, very well."
Ricardo Isaias Zavala comes from a long line of vaqueros — cowboys who worked the ranches of Southeast Texas in the 19th and 20th centuries. That tradition stopped with his grandfather — but in the Zavala family, parts of it live on.
Ricardo's grandfather's name was Vicente Domingo Villa. His family moved from ranch to ranch, looking for work. Most of the ranches were in the scrubland of South Texas, east of Laredo.
Four years ago, Marco Ferreira was riding his motorcycle down an isolated road in Los Angeles when he hit some grout and had an accident.
Though he was wearing a full helmet, leather pants and jacket, Ferreira suffered a traumatic brain injury.
When he woke from a six-week coma, his wife, Wendy Tucker, was there.
"You didn't walk, you didn't talk, and you couldn't feed yourself for seven months," she says during a visit with the 48-year-old Ferreira to StoryCorps in San Francisco. "Since then, it's just been getting better all the time."