by Esther Rubio
life has been met with challenges and experiences that I
will never forget. Deep in my mind is a memory of a girl
named Ashley. It was a chilly, October night. As I lay relaxing
in my warm bed watching television for what seemed like
only a few minutes, I heard the sound of loud, piercing
firecrackers. I must have heard that sound a thousand times,
but this night it was different.
My brother came running inside the house seconds later,
screaming, “There’s somebody in the street!”
I ran out to see what had happened. There she was, lying
in the middle of the street, cars racing by, not even realizing
that a human life laid there in pain. Without hesitation,
we called for an ambulance. As my sister lay holding her
hand, I kept talking to her, hoping to keep her awake and
alive. Thoughts raced through my mind, what am I going to
do? She said “Call my mom” these words played
over and over again in my mind.
At the moment, I began to tremble. My hands, shaking as
I slowly opened my cell phone to dial, my throat tightened
so much that I couldn’t breathe. I dialed 231-……
with a scared feeling (the number that Ashley had given
me to dial). Tears rolled down my cheeks as thoughts raced
through my mind. I had to tell Ashley’s mother that
her child had been shot in the back by a gang member.
Later that evening, as I lay in my warm bed, I wondered
what if that had been me in the street? Would someone come
to my rescue or would I die there on the street all alone
with no one around? An overwhelming feeling of sadness came
over me. I realized that life is a gift and it should be
taken care of.
The community I live in may have many problems but complaining
is not going to bring change. That is why I’m involved
in my church and the community and in my school. I am currently
the youth secretary of my church. As a leader I do my best.
We have visited a convalescent home, where we really had
the chance to get to know the elder people. We have also
fundraised to help the church. In school I was in the Peer
mediation program. I was a mentor and helped other students
deal with issues they were having with each other. I am
currently in a program called Fox Journey to Excellence
and as a member I had the chance to play and interact with
children while their parents were receiving classes. I believe
that giving back to the community is important and I really
enjoy it. Compassion comes from the heart and everything
I do I do with my heart. I truly believe that kindness begins
with one’s self.