Why can they see what I see?

Growing up in Rochester has definitely been an experience. It was the first city my family explored when we moved to the states and it became the place the majority of us called home. I love these streets they’ve been my playground for so long; i found my freedom ripping and running through them, they’ve taught me how to survive and thrive. To me Rochester has always been much more than a city, its ahh well i can’t really explain it but if i could i would say that Rochester is like the rose that grew out of the concrete. I started exploring the city on my own when i was 14 years old and what bothered me then about this city bothered me even more during our tour. The city is filled with run down and abandon houses, there are multiple abandon houses on almost ever block. Homeownership is rare amongst the city and i think that thats what makes it hard for people to love Rochester the way that I do. They don’t own a piece of it so why take care of it, why put in the effort to up keep the community. I know thats it probably going to take more than just one person on their soap box but i’ve seen the community come together, I’ve seen them discuss the issues that are slowly destroying Rochester i guess its just going to take time. 

It is my hope that Youth Year will allow me to get to know my community and bond with them. There aren’t a lot of jobs that will allow you to witness first hand what happening in the community but this does and thats the most exciting part. 

-Jeiri 

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