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It`s very hard to imagine a world without guns, gangs, and violence since it is all around

us. Every time we turn our head, we see an act of violence being done by teens and adults that

shouldn't be happening. We are fortunate enough to live in a great neighborhood where we don`t

have to hide in fear and carry around weapons because we are scared to walk down the streets of

Chicago thinking we might be struck by violence. Even though I myself have never been in a

violent situation, I know friends who have, even adults. There are reasons why youth violence is

spreading across our country, but I truly believe it can be minimized if everyone had the heart to

stop it.

As I grew up in a little Polish community about 20 minutes away from Portage Park, I

have seen some horrible things I never thought I would experience and see as a 6 year old girl.

First I will tell you some background information of the community I lived in. It was`t one of the

greatest neighborhoods you would want your child to grow up and live in, but you managed to

come home safely every day. But I cannot say that about everyone. As one day I was walking

home from school, I saw 2 older kids beating up a poor little Polish boy because of his

nationality. Blood dripping down his face, crying hysterically, what was I to do? I just stood there

and could not believe my eyes, I thought I was watching some kind of horror movie. I tried to run

away from this scene, but I can still remember the face of that poor, innocent little boy who

didn`t do anything. It is something I remember because I had just come from Poland, and seeing

a child of my own nationality being beaten up because of his background made me think that I

will one day be a target. It gave me bad impressions of life in America. I was scared to walk to

walk down the street, because you never know what can happen. But luckily, I did cha...

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