Brian and Laura Hill are different from most kids.
When they were babies, the brother and sister team went to live with their grandma. Their mom struggled with addiction and ended up in jail, so they have been raised by their grandmother.
It's sometimes difficult for their friends to understand what they are going through. But the Tucson teens were able to share their stories through a digital storytelling project, which is part a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program conducted by the UA Pima County Cooperative Extension in partnership with the KARE Family Center.
Along with other children being raised by grandparents, Brian, 16, and Laura, 14, wrote, directed and produced a video of their life stories. They drew pictures, used childhood photos and narrated the stories.
"When I was born, my mom had drug problems," Brian said in his video. "During this time, the only stable person was my grandma… I love my grandma to death because she was with me through all the hard times."
Both talk of the love they have for their mother.
"I have one dream, and that is to live with my mom," Laura said in her video. "But without my grandma, I don't know what I would do. She has made me the girl I am today… my life was a struggle, but it made me strong."
Their grandmother, Lyvonne Hill, is moved by the videos. "They are very powerful," said Hill, one of millions of grandparents raising grandchildren in the U.S.
The teens said it was helpful to watch videos made by other children being raised by grandparents and to share their stories. Said Brian, "It lets kids know they are not facing it alone."