This I Believe

Patricia - Chino, California
Entered on June 8, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks

This I Believe

I believe minorities have the right to reach as high as they please. In attending gang and drug awareness in a voluntary manner a must. That in Southern California a book should not be judged by its cover. For example, the way somebody does their make-up, the way they walk, their hair, and what the jewelry they wear symbolizes. No brown should kill another brown, knowing they come from the same place for the same reason and are only killing themselves. I believe in truce and overcoming.

I was born in West Covina, California in the year 1990. One of the highest points in the Inland Empire and Los Angeles gang violence. Later moving to Chino, California. Since a child I always knew I was absolutely not going to college. My parents never encouraged it, if you graduated high school, you were the man. Also, probably because I never saw a need in it. My brother’s were my heroes, my idols, my everything. If they do it, it is alright.

Being in first grade, I never saw anything wrong in wearing knee-high socks, slanting back and forth every time you take a step, driving low riders, and tagging on everything you can get your hands on to be unique. I knew no better. That was all I ever saw, I thought other people going to school and wearing ankle socks were strange. My parents encouraged this lifestyle that I later came to understand as misunderstood, they were proud of their sons being like that. It made them feel secure that the neighbors saw this and were intimidated. I was proud that they were willing to cut corners and got respected by all just because the thing they did on paper. I also wondered, why to they have three dots in their hand? Later found out it meant “My Crazy Life”. Well was I wrong.

In conclusion, my brothers were my all. But they fell lost and into drugs. Much is like a lot of teens of all races today. One of my brothers ended up getting arrested. My parents tried everything, and nothing. But he currently lives in Mexico. But me, I was going to graduate high school, I was the bright one. I believe when people are lost, they should get help. That is why I made an appointment with my councilor, Ms. Rodriguez, I told her the story of my life, and she put me in the AIM Higher program, social awareness. I went once and dropped out. She also recommended four-year college, and this, and that, and painted it out all pretty. But that is not my thing. She also suggested me as being a gang awareness councilor, because she said I have seen and heard it all, but I have never lived it. But since I can not do a four-year college, I do not go that way. I might do something else, like private college. No transcripts, more expensive, but oh well. But she told me do not worry just because you are a minority. “You got the whole make-up chola look going on, mi hija”. Just because you look and think a certain way does not mean you can not get help. I will never be caught doing these things, but accept it because I grew up seeing different views. That is why I believe everyone should be open-minded and accept.