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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

Growing Up in Pacoima

By Abraham Robles  |   From : Pacoima,CA,USA  |   School : Social Justice Humanitas Academy

Something that’s happened to me is just growing up in Pacoima, California. I’ve lived there all my life and I’ve seen and heard a lot of stuff already. These 15 years have been pretty crazy, just walking outside on your own is pretty dangerous. I hear a lot of gunshots and can’t go to sleep sometimes. Police sirens are something you’d hear a lot if you were me. I always see some sort of fist fight or some on getting dropped off with all their stuff across the street of my house. The RV’s are also somewhere across the street leaving all of their junk when they think it’s time to go. Abuse throughout the neighborhood, almost always towards the end of the street, that’s where most of the stuff goes down. I’m usually just in my room now, can’t be outside in case someone tries to shoot up the street when I was little, I would always hide when cars passed by in case something like that happened. Although my community is beautiful with all the cool graffiti, murals, and gardens people have, it’s not enough to make me feel safe. I can’t deny it, I love my city, I’m always going to have respect for it, it’s where I’ve been brought up. I remember when I lived with my uncle, we lived on a closed street, I would always play with the kids around the neighborhood. Usually my cousins, we all lived on the same street, we would have such great times. That is until everyone got older, we only go outside every once in a while. My family is really close, they’ll always have my back. But now that I live on another street, I don’t feel that I have that same protection whenever I need it. I only live three minutes away unless there’s traffic on Paxton St., but that’s a whole nother story. Sometimes I feel like I can’t even walk home on my own, this one time, I was right. I was walking home one day minding my own business when two guys approached me, mind you I am a pretty skinny kid. They came up to me and I felt pretty scared, I already knew what was going to happen, there was no escape so I kind of just let it happen. That day I went home without any of the money I had. At least they didn’t take my keys or phone, just my money. Not going to lie, my neighbor is pretty scary. He’s a cool guy but if you get on his wrong side, good luck. He has a lot of pretty cool stories but they’re crazy. When I mentioned fights before, he’s been in a couple that I’ve seen. I remember in the summer of 2018, I saw him fight some guy he had problems with. He was trying to defend one of his friends who also had problems with that guy. My neighbor didn’t care for what he had to say, he mainly just fought the guy. He got pretty good hits to the guys face and gut. The other guy tried to kick my neighbor but then my neighbor grabbed his leg and slammed him into the asphalt. After that, the other guy left because he knew that nothing else was going to happen. I remember he gave me a pair of trucks for a skateboard, he kind of got me into that. Obviously, I can’t skate without a skateboard, so I went to my local skate shop and got a board and the rest of the parts I needed. I wasn’t really good until the start of this year. There’s a park near my house which is by the Pacoima Projects. If you go there not being an athlete, you’re going to get pressed. I only go when I play soccer because otherwise, I’d get hurt. I go with a couple of people that live by me. One of my friend’s brother is like my neighbor. It makes wonder sometimes if he’s going to end up the same. I hope he doesn’t though, he’s pretty smart but he does some pretty dumb stuff sometimes.

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