Why I Want to Leave







By Nayeli Hernandez

The time I’ll be walking the stage is almost here, right around the corner and I have a good idea of what I want to do after I graduate from high school. One of the things I intend to do is leave San Pablo. Although this area has many programs for teens and a lot of support, I still don’t feel at home here. I’ve been living in San Pablo for quite a while and now I feel like it’s time to go and get out of this city to see what else there is.

My first few years as a child I lived in Hercules. The area was peaceful and the neighbors were polite and welcoming. I was able to go out and play with friends I had made.

When we moved to San Pablo, my mom wouldn’t let me go out to play unless I had someone watching me. I couldn’t even ride my bike alone anymore. My mom said the area wasn’t safe.

As I grew older, I started to adjust to the area. I was surrounded by people who used slang and smoked pot and at times were very rude.

I would visit family and friends in Richmond, which is a neighbor city to San Pablo. On my way to a friend’s house one day in Richmond, I walked past a few guys who were hanging around their car smoking pot. I grabbed my phone before passing through and pretended that I was talking to someone, I hoped that the guys wouldn’t do anything because I was on the phone with someone. I was wrong. They harassed me and said disgusting things. That instant, I felt very unsafe and uncomfortable.

At that moment, I knew that this is just part of how some people act and it happens all the time, especially here in Richmond.

If I had a daughter, I would want her to feel safe and comfortable walking around the neighborhood. Richmond and San Pablo aren’t that neighborhood for me. I want to go somewhere where there’s warm weather and neighbors that are welcoming and just a city where it’s safe.

I know that there isn’t a perfect city that has perfect people and no crime, but I’d like to be somewhere where I feel at home.

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One thought on “Why I Want to Leave

  1. you go young lady. get the out of west contra costa county.
    too much Mental violence in both alameda, co co, and South bay. I’m like your mom was.my 3 sons and the way I see youth are at these schools..i should home school cuz it’s real ugly out there.
    I don’t know you but I am sending positive thoughts your way in achieving peace and joy and safety.

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