Yusuf—quiet, serious, thoughtful, dressed in a crisp white shirt and sporting a neat goatee—begins his narrative with a series of orienting identifications: his name, his birth country (Somalia), the age at which he came to the U.S. (twelve), his age at the telling of his story (twenty-one) to a volunteer who was recording his narrative, and his status as a successful college student (“doin’ good”).

The plot of Yusuf’s narrative text, “Everyone Has a Gift,” extends the upward trajectory (Gergen and Gergen, 1983) characterizing his early orienting remarks. From the outset, Yusuf represents himself, both in his words and his embodied performance, as a successful and hardworking student: the narrative relates how he moved to a new country, overcame the difficulties attendant to learning English, filled in gaps in his early education, and, eventually, enrolled in college, succeeding through dint of hard work.

This is a photograph of Yusuf

Yusuf's full narrative in the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN):
Uncaptioned (.mov)
Captioned (.mov)
Timecode Transcript (.txt)