By “Cleveland California”

Instructor’s Note: “Cleveland California” is a pen name.

The world is changing most people say in a good way but what I see is more people falling into poverty every year. People that used to be middle class are now poor. Most people don’t understand but I live in it. I see people my age who have to resort to illegal activities to feed their families because they’re the only source of income that the family has.

To start off, most people in poverty are born into it. Which means there was nothing they could do about it. To escape poverty you need a good job. These days it takes a high school diploma to work at McDonalds, and it takes a college education to make more than minimum wage. Most times poor families don’t have enough money to put their kids through college. The only way that they can make it is through sports but they have to make it through the streets first.

We live in a society that is obviously not perfect. Unemployment is going up every day and the world is all mixed up and confused. Instead of trying to save our own country, there are ads on television for both starving kids in other countries and animals who need homes. I’m not saying that animals and starving kids are not important, I’m just saying for once America needs to look out for itself. If the people who donate to the children and animal organizations knew how every day we get closer to a poverty filled future of our own, maybe they would send money to the nearest department of social services.

Some people don’t know how it is to be in poverty and look on TV and think to themselves, “how do people do things like that?” or “why do they look and act that way?” Well to those people I say come and see. If for one day a more fortunate person just felt a feeling that I feel every week, or knew what it meant to have to earn respect from people who already have a negative opinion of you judging from where you live or how you look. We fight over less but it means more. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is against you, and when that happens you turn against the world.

I was born in a family with no father around. To me my father doesn’t exist, but to the world my father is a murderer in prison for life. I’m sure most people would think I would end up the same or that I would fall into a life of crime. At one point in my life I was afraid that there was no other choice. I had to be either a criminal or drug dealer because my mom is a single parent with four children. Now I see different even though I’m not the smartest person. I could see myself as a role model if not for anyone else than at least for my brothers and sisters. Now they see that it’s possible. If I can, they can.


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