Haibinh, 15, moved from Vietnam to the United States at age 10. Her parents left behind their country to give their daughters a better education. She has learned to navigate between Vietnamese and American cultures, but longs to visit her native country.

Aisha's parents are divorced. She lives with her father, who pushes for her success on the basketball court and elsewhere. But at age 16, Aisha has her own dreams.

Amber, 15, and her mother have a rocky relationship. On her birthday, Amber leaves home and moves to Chicago's west side. Although she ison her own, Amber stays on the honor roll and is accepted to college, thanks to herown motivation and the help of a mentor.

Corrie, 17, is openly bisexual, a fact that her father can't accept. Her passion for politics and human rights also separates Corrie from her peers, making her lonely at times. But she finds support through other outlets, including her mother.

Toby, 13, is growing up in a well-to-do community. She goes to an excellent school, where she studies music and art and runs on the cross-country team. She feels great pressure to live up to the expectations of her parents, two accomplished physicians.

--D. SMITH