In order to understand how other people view their communities and environmental awareness to improve their life style, I interviewed three individuals who live within my neighborhood. I chose these people from different sections within my neighborhood. This was because each part of my neighborhood is slightly different, plus each person was a different age. The first person is 12 years old, the second person is 24, and the third person is 40 years old. The age differences opens a perspective on how people view their community and different states of life. Usually someone younger would have an immature standpoint on his or her community, but if they are aware of the things going on, then that means that the community has a huge impact on its people.   

The neighborhood I live in is the north Lawndale community. This neighborhood is the third worst neighborhood in Chicago. There is always violence and deaths.  Growing up and living in this area doesn’t bring positivity often. To experience good opportunities in the area is rare. There needs to be some form of change to the neighborhood, but it’s up to the residents to force the change.

The first person I interviewed is 12 years old. He lives on the next block over from me. I interviewed him because I see him a lot and he usually ventures around the neighborhood. I first asked him what does he notice about the neighborhood and how does he feel about. He was very blunt in his response. He told me the obvious flaws of the area and he said he’d like to see all of it change so he wouldn’t have to worry about trouble all of the time.  In terms of things he does to improve the environment and his quality of life, he said that he always throws the garbage away, and he tries to eat healthy more often than usual. Additionally, he tries to help his friends make better decisions. As a 12-year-old, he was very aware of what was wrong, what needs to be fixed, and what he can do to help. 

The second person I interviewed is 24. He is related to a friend of mine and lives in the roughest part of the area. He is also a gang member, which made the conversation more interesting in terms of his responses on the community. When I asked him the same questions, he stated the same response as the 12 year old. He said that the area is terrible and a better place would make a better future. In terms of things to better the environment he couldn’t come up with things that he does, and neither was he able to say how his life style can or has made some type of positive impact.

The third person I interviewed is 40 years old. He has also lived and has been around the neighborhood a lot. Additionally, he says that he has never been outside of the community. He also stated that the area is terrible. However, he said that in order to improve the community, there would have to be more stores within the area to keep some type of money flow. To improve the environment, he said that he usually cleans the park, and his way of living is the same.

From collecting stories from other people, what can be improved is very obvious: get rid of violence and poverty. I might share the stories with people outside of my community. Culture and tradition play a huge influence. In a way, bad neighborhoods develop traditions. Fixing this huge issue would take generations.