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By Ambar Martinez, 16, University HS
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Coming from a single-parent home makes it a little bit difficult for me to be involved with organizations. Why? I have a little sister to help my mom with and we don’t have a car. When I get involved in activities outside of school or if I want a summer job, I have to make sure it works around my mom’s schedule.

Please don’t judge my mom. She doesn’t deprive me of being involved in extra-curricular activities. When I know it won’t work out for either of us, I don’t bother to mention it. When I know it’s difficult for us and I do mention it to her, she encourages me to go ahead and she pretends she can manage without my help—like picking up my sister from school even though she works until 10 in the night and no one else is available to help her. Most of the time, I don’t mention it because it’s not like me to not be helpful to my mom when she has sacrificed her whole life to raise her daughters. Not being involved once in a while won’t kill me and I know there will be other opportunities next year.

I also have to know that whatever I am involved with doesn’t take place at night because riding the bus at that time is more dangerous than riding in the day. I have been riding the bus ever since I was in fifth grade. At first, I had no problem with sexual harassment on the bus but once I entered eighth grade and especially now in high school, it is a recurring problem. If perverted men harass me during broad daylight in front of everyone, I can imagine what it would be like in the nighttime. It is also scary to admit that I have dealt with perverted drivers. I don’t like the idea of walking around Pico-Union after dark.