Tuan Lang spent three years in hiding before landing in Lake Highlands. She plans to take full advantage of the opportunity. Go ahead and call her "Dr. Lang".

“Apartment people”—who are they, really?

Lake Highlands homeowners, police, and even landlords know that Lake Highlands’ high crime numbers are rooted in the high-density apartment communities.  It’s tempting to lump the apartment renters into one less-than-trustworthy group.

Sure, there is a certain percentage of lowlifes living in Lake Highlands apartments (the ones our councilman call “punks”), but there are among them, amazing families and young people who have been through unthinkable struggles and come out on the other side still fighting.

Last month I got to interview six of these Lake Highlands High School students, five of who live with various siblings and parents in low-rent apartments in the neighborhood.

Future doctor Tuan Lang, can’t believe how lucky she is to be living in an apartment with running water and a stove after years of living in hiding from religious persecution in Burma. Like the other students in this month’s cover story, she is taking full advantage of her new lease on life.

All of the subjects in the article have overcome tremendous odds to make it to May’s commencement ceremony. Their stories made me look at my world, my neighborhood differently. They made me feel a little better about the future. A little more hopeful regarding what can happen, with a little ambition and a lot of gratitude.