I am applying to the Prairie View A&M University Juvenile Justice Master’s program. My interest letter’s first paragraph has me worried. My experience feels like others. I’ve revised it several times, but the meaning stays the same. Many people in my neighborhood do not attend college. My grandmother and mother worked hard to ensure that my life was different from theirs, and they did everything they could to protect me from the lifestyle in my area. Many of my friends’ families lacked that kind of dedication. I don’t believe any of my friends are bad people. They had to deal with or see things that no child should. In that sort of world, you must learn how to stand alone or accept the support of others – even if it is wrong. Things would have been different for them if they had received the appropriate help. I had to overcome the trauma of growing up in the “hood” as a child.
here are some ideas i had
introduction:
I was born in the project, formerly known as Oak Hill Plaza but to the residents, it is 2400 block. The official term for where I grew up is a “public housing project” or subsidized housing.” most people refer to these places as the “ghetto” or the “hood.” To me, they all mean the same thing: a place that I would never want to live in again. my mother and I lived in every building. however, from my 3rd-grade year to a few years after my high school graduation apartment 509 became home to me for almost 11 years. the projects destroy the future of children.
Next paragraph: (I was trying to give background on my experience of growing up in the projects) I have lost people at different ages whether it be from death or prison. I have seen things and felt things no child should. I was sheltered from the world that existed outside my doors but it still did not stop the pain from coming. at the age of 10, I learned what it meant to be preyed on. at age 13 I slept in a closet because there was a shooting outside – that ended up permanently blinding a newborn. at 16 my friend went to jail for robbery (he was trying to help his mom pay bills), and at the age of 18, my best friend’s sister was an innocent bystander who accidentally got shot in the head. at the age of 19, my childhood friend was found shot multiple times in the woods and buried (his younger sister found him). at the age of 21, I had to be there mentally for my mother because she witness the shooting of 4 family members and 1 didn’t make it.
the shooting and deaths keep coming. I can not count the number of people I know who have been shot or done on my hands.
But I made it out. Survived is more like it because many things can imprison you in the hood forever. I could have become pregnant as a teen, got arrested, or got killed. I managed to avoid all these things and flourish as an adult. When you don’t live in a community like a housing project, it’s easy to believe that everyone around you has a better life or has fewer problems than you. Most continue the cycle and don’t make it out. Then there are the few that get so far out that the ghetto is barely a distant memory and they go on to make massive changes. I can proudly say that I am part of this last group.
(in this paragraph I want to talk about how I feel some of the kids I grew up with felt they didn’t have a choice for their lifestyle. They repeated the same cycle as their family and friends.
I began thinking about the mental state of young people in our communities. There’s still mental trauma that’s not being addressed.