Kylee Pena
Kylee Pena

At age four, Kylee was adopted into a family of six. With four much older siblings, and her being the only one adopted. Things went rather smoothly at first. Everything was perfect for the time being. “I was still able to visit, and talk with my biological mother.” She states, “I was adopted by my grandfather, so by law my mom became my sister. It’s all rather confusing.” She has two brothers, and two sisters. Brandi age 39, her oldest sister. David age 29, her oldest brother. The two oldest are married with families in the military. Justin age 28, living at home and going to college. Sarah age 26, a makeup artist and part time model. And Kylee age 19, first year of college.

            Through middle school she took part in the track team, the drama club, the v.p. club, and the cooking club. Being so socially active she became good friends with a lot of her older siblings friends. But as time went by the age gap became clear when one by one some of her older friends passed away. “It was hard for me you know?”she says “I grew really close to these people and suddenly they were gone. I felt like I couldn’t make friends anymore because I was afraid to lose people.”

            High school was a different story altogether. Kylee didn’t attend her local public school, but instead she went to a tech school. Bristol County Agricultural High was, and is a farming school. “There are cows that live outside of the cafeteria. You’d be eating a hamburger with your friends and turn to look outside, and be eye to eye with a cow. It was sad but funny.” She laughs “You had to feel bad for them, they were so cute.” Though the cows on the property were not all beef cows, but a lot of them were dairy cows.

            Though the grounds of the school was large the student body was small. About five hundred students in total. But here, she was one of six students of color. In fact, on her first day of freshman year she was physically and verbally assaulted. “The upperclassmen didn’t care about our feelings.” she sighs. “They did what they wanted because they saw the six of us as inferior. It wasn’t fair that our self esteem and confidence was being torn down and no one did anything.” By the end of freshman year, six colored students became two. By the end of sophomore year, two became one. “Junior year was no better. Now that I was the only one who hadn’t transferred out, I stuck out. I became a target.”

            Finally, right before Kylee’s senior year she was able to switch back to her public sending school. “My old friends practically trampled me. This was where I belonged. I never should have left.” Back at Wareham High she got back into her favorite after school activities and that’s when she found her calling. “I took a class for video production, and I was in the drama club. I realized I love to act, and I love to film.” Now in her first year of college shes taking the steps it takes to get to her career goals.