Alaina Mclendon

Alaina Mclendon, Age 12, Student; Harlan, Kentucky:

"I have seven brothers and sisters. I like living in the mountains. I really don’t like go hunting or nothing but it feels different when I go to my dad’s house (Columbus, Ohio), It just feels different. It feels different because there is no mountains… It just feels weird, feels really weird. 

Here there are no tornados, no hurricanes. 

I love to play basketball, come to the Harlan Boys and Girls Club, play games on my iPod and watch TV. Having seven brothers and sisters, it’s crazy. They are always fighting… Where’s my game? Where’s this? Where’s that? 

I really like the Boys and Girls Club. It’s fun. They come up with all these fun games and plan trips for us like the one we are going on tomorrow. We are going to Sky Zone in Johnson City. It’s like a trampoline park. They also do homework programs. Power Hour is when you do your homework. You have to do something educational. If you don’t have anything (from school) to do they will create something educational for you to do. It really helps me in school. It helps my grades. I like school and I miss school (in the summer). But I also like summer.

Some of the fun times I have living in the mountains is going four-wheeling, going mudding. Mudding is when you put on old clothes, you don’t want to get your good ones all muddy and dirty, and go four wheeling on a wet day. You go where all the mud holes are. It is really fun because you get mud all over you riding the four-wheeler up in the mountains. Seen deer up there but no bears. 

One of the saddest times in my life was when my step-dad died. I guess he got too old. He just got sick. I was ten years old. I miss him a lot. We used to go to the lake, four-wheeling, ride bikes, and stuff. My mom probably misses him the worst".