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The Castillo family evacuating after Hurricane Harvey. (Photo: Allyson Castillo)
1. How did Harvey affect your house, and how much water did it sustain?
Allyson Castillo: There was two feet of water and it was in there for three days. We had evacuated earlier and were at a friend’s house when the hurricane was going on, and later moved to the NRG shelter.
Cason Hancock: When we woke up Sunday morning, our house had five inches of water, and we tried to contain it, but knew we had to leave. When we came back, it had four feet of water, and we have to redo the floors and walls.
2. What’s your current living situation and how long have you been staying there?
Allyson Castillo: Right now I’m staying in a hotel, and I’ve been there since mid-September.
Cason Hancock: My family and I are at my sister’s house, and we’ve been here since four days after Harvey happened.
3. How has Harvey impacted your school life?
Allyson Castillo: I think that socially, it hasn’t affected me, but I’m putting in a lot less effort in my schoolwork because of the work I’ve had to do on my house.
Cason Hancock: Harvey got me a few fee waivers [for college applications], which was nice, but it’s been harder to work because of the different environment and different routine. I don’t have my stuff anymore and I just work on the floor of my sister’s house.
4. How else has Harvey impacted you?
Allyson Castillo: I lost a lot of personal space, and it’s made me reexamine the relationship with my family because we’re fighting all the time and I feel like nothing belongs to me.
Cason Hancock: Seeing my parents, the people who are supposed to be my rock, has been hard.
5. Do you think there’s enough being done at Carnegie for people affected by Harvey?
Allyson Castillo: I think giving us school supplies was helpful, but the teachers are still being really demanding.
Cason Hancock: Yeah, the free lunch and dinner is nice, but I don’t think a lot of the teachers understood that we didn’t have access to Internet the first couple of weeks.
6. Do you have any advice for other people in your situation?
Allyson Castillo: I would say remind yourself that all this is temporary, and there’s always a plus side. For me, I got fee waivers for college.
Cason Hancock: Just stay positive and know that you learn the most from the worst.