Many of the outsiders that don’t know East Los Angeles see it as a terrible community. They have these images of cholos walking around, Mexicans filling up the community, or students dropping out of school.
The insiders defend their community. They will prove that students do succeed in East L.A.; they will prove that East L.A. is full of culture, amazing food, and amazing people.
I’m not an insider, but I’m not an outsider either. I’m right in between. I acknowledge the fact that East L.A. may not be the best community, there are dangers in this community, there are bad people, there are rapes, murders, robbery, bad things in general, but let’s not forget of the good things that East L.A. has: culture, opportunities, education, jobs, and the best thing about East L.A. is that we will always be there for each other. We help each other out. We fight together. We stand together.
When I was 16, I can say that I’ve lived in East L.A. my whole life, but I can no longer say that. I moved to a different community that is a lot different from East L.A., Whittier.
I’m not part of the people who live in East L.A., but that doesn’t mean I’m no longer part of the community. So how am I still part of the community? How am I still connected to it?
My first week in Whittier was boring. It was quiet and peaceful, and nothing compared to the rowdiness of East L.A. I missed my home.
My parents suggested me to move schools, but I couldn’t bear leaving East L.A. so I stayed. I am still part of East L.A. because I attend school and get my education from there. Esteban Torres Renaissance Academy has so many opportunities to offer and I couldn’t turn away from that. Education connects me to East L.A., but also running.
I am part of a program called Students Run Los Angeles. Although it says that students run Los Angeles, I mainly run throughout East L.A. I know, some of you might think, “How scary,” and yes it’s dangerous, but not scary. This is one way I get around East L.A..
Many people think running is boring, but it also depends where you choose to run. I run in East L.A. because this community is full of culture and it makes running fun. Sometimes I run in Whittier, but the neighborhood is so quiet and peaceful there that I prefer to run in East L.A. where I can be part of the culture I grew up in.
Running isn’t the only way I get around East L.A., but using the public transit as well. I love taking the metro; it’s easy, affordable, fast, and eco-friendly. I love the metro so much and I was excited that Renaissance offered me an internship at the L.A. Metro headquarters.
As I interned there, I learned so much not only about public transit but of my community as well. Interning there gave me a more professional view about my community. I was able to see part of East L.A. in a professional environment.
So how can people have a bad image of East L.A. when they are the people who are helping our environment, making transportation easier, and helping people get around the city? This internship has helped me so much, especially since I want to major in civil engineering.
Getting around East L.A. isn’t always easy, especially with the traffic congestion. This influenced me to major in civil engineering because I want to help reduce congestion in East L.A.
East L.A. is a community filled with different people, some bad, some good. I acknowledge that it is a somewhat dangerous community, but I can also say that it offers many great opportunities for people and a great education. It has influenced me and others to succeed, and want something better in life.
East L.A. is a community that has culture, amazing food, and amazing people. One shouldn’t judge East L.A. until they actually get to know it.