Serial number NP-215

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Are you a product of your neighborhood? This goes past the average stereotypes. Ethically is it right to judge people on where they’re from or based on race and gender? I come from a tough part of the city of Philadelphia, granted where I grew up isn’t the worse place to live but it isn’t the safest. Who am I kidding now and day’s you really aren’t safe anywhere. Anyway, I digress. Here’s my thoughts on stereotypes and how I would define being a product of your “neighborhood.” For example where I am from it is very normal for families to live off the support of the government assistance. By government assistance I mean food stamps, healthcare, social security checks for mental/disabled children, etc. Now I know many families that actually NEED this government assistance to live, but I know too many families who abuse this system. In my household as in many was a single mother raising three children living off minimum wage, working two to three jobs at a time just to keep up with the bills. Not too many kids in my neighborhood had the type of mother I did, in fact I only knew a handful of kids who’s parents were not as active in their live as my mother was in mine. As I stated before there were a lot of single parents raising their children. To say the least I knew many kids who were incarcerated at young ages, always getting into trouble, dropped out of school, disrespected their elders, the list goes on. These kids grew up in the same environment I did, and they fell into the pressure of the stereotype that was set for my neighborhood. These stereotypes being either a drug dealer or a low life who lives off government assistance with little to no education and no promise for a successful future. Without having to say I knew a lot of people who dropped out of school, got involved with the wrong people and forgot what life was really about. They got really comfortable with how they were living and saw that almost everyone around them was living like this. Therefore, they felt no need to change because they did not want to be called weird for trying to do something different with their life. People like this are what I would call a product of their neighborhood. The people who fall into the pressure around them and get comfortable living the way they do. The people who drop out of school and do nothing with their lives. Honestly, it’s sad to see people with so much potential just give up on themselves. That’s what I grew up around. I grew up around a bunch of nobody’s who think a job is standing at the corner hanging out. But lucky enough I beat the odds that my neighborhood expected of me. I was lucky enough to have a mother who cared about my safety, my education, and my success later on in life. My mother used my broken neighborhood as an example of how NOT to live. I was taught that I could be nothing without education and I would get no where if I did not do well in school. Therefore, I am NOT a product of my neighborhood but I know where I come from and am true to myself. Sometimes I am judged because of where I am from, or I get the typical “wow, you must’ve had a hard life.” Actually I didn’t I used everything I had around me as motivation. My neighborhood made me who I am but I am not who it wanted me to be.

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