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Brockton: City of Champions This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


"As I entered the open doorsof opportunity on my first day at a new school, faces I'd never seen greeted me -different faces from what I was used to. First, they all belonged to girls(something I was definitely not used to). Second, they were all one color, white.At first, it didn't phase me. I just thought, Hey, it's a different building,different teachers and a different schedule. There must be different people, too.But what I didn't grasp was how different these people really were.

I wasborn and raised in a city on the outskirts of Boston where more than 15 percentlive below the state's poverty level and more than 51 percent are what the statecalls "minorities." Even though I attended a small Catholic gradeschool in the city, the classes were a mix of Asian, Hispanic, African-Americanand Caucasian students. It didn't occur to me that some of my best friends were adifferent race, or that some of my first boyfriends were a differentethnicity.

When I left my city of diversity, I entered a suburban highschool full of mostly upper-middle class girls from affluent towns. It was notuntil then I realized that not everyone had my childhood experiences. Noteveryone was taught to speak Spanish by her best friend whose family came fromPuerto Rico a few years before. Not everyone had danced to Kenyan music intraditional tribal attire. Not everyone had shared her lunch and school supplieswith a friend whose parents were on welfare. Not everyone had learned thatneither the color of one's skin nor one's social status can be seen when you lovesomeone.

Though some say the students at my school have grown up with moreprivileges and a better education than those of my city, I believe they havemissed much. The people of my city have had the privilege of living in a placethat sees no racial boundaries. The people of my city have an education thattaught us that because someone looks or lives differently does not mean you haveto love them differently.

I am glad I have the opportunity to attend mycurrent high school. I am grateful for my teachers and my friends who have taughtme many academic lessons, as well as life lessons. I am also glad that I grew upin my much-ridiculed city. I have an exorbitant pride in my city, and would nottrade any of my experiences there - not even for a life in a wealthy town.



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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~AmAnDa LyNn<3Bj wIlLiAm~ said...
Nov. 1, 2008 at 3:00 pm
i enjoyed reading your story and i can relate to it in many ways good job=]
 
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