Ivan Lindenfeld

“I was 10 years old and was living in Caracas, Venezuela when it happened. They separated us into two cars. They put my sister, my grandma, and I in one car, and my parents in another car. I didn’t know if my parents were alive. In the front seat was the kidnapper, with a gun pointed at us. My grandma held us tight, to make sure that if they were to shoot at us, she would take the bullet. We were in that car for nine hours, and I didn’t know what to think. We didn’t say one word, we just sat. They took my parents to my house and stole everything; That was all they wanted, money. They finally took us to where my parents were being held captive. We hugged and started crying, we didn’t know if we would ever see each other again. A while after that, we were released. You think your life is perfect. You live in a bubble, until something happens and you realize, life really isn’t perfect. After that day, I stopped going out. I dropped out of my soccer team because I was traumatized something would happen to me during travel games. I missed friends birthdays. Life for us was never the same after that day. It’s incredible how just nine hours can change your life.”

-Ivan Lindenfeld, Student (11th Grade)

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