Where I Come From

by  , Youth Reporter from Altgeld Gardens

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program class at People for Community Recovery, a not-for-profit organization based in the Altgeld Gardens public housing development.

My name is Everett Johnson and I am 12 years old.

I go to Carver Elementary School. I am an African American boy who wants to be something in life. I have two sisters. They are nice. One is in high school and one is in grammar school. I love them so much. I don’t want anything to happen to either one of them. I love them so much and my mother—she loves me, too. We do a lot together. She works at our school. She’s the manager. Everyday I see her.

I come from a place called Altgeld Gardens. It’s a place where we need things, such as a library and another school. We need a library for kids like me because, after school, kids like me don’t have anywhere to go to get more learning, like a summer reading program.

We need our other school back, called Carver Middle School, because the kids out here have to go to different high schools. Really, the kids from Fenger need it most, now that they’re trying to make it a charter school.

And also, we need more protection from the police because they don’t serve or protect.

We need our school because the kids that now have to go to Fenger High School have to go all the way out there to go to school. It would be easier if they could open the school back up here in Altgeld. The kids at Fenger have fights most everyday, like the brawl when Derrion Albert died—they blamed it on the kids from the Gardens.

The library is the place we used to go. Now we can’t because its closed down from a pipe busting—one pipe.

I think the people from the Chicago Housing Authority could fix it.

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