Write about a defining moment in your life.
A defining moment in my life would have to be the day my brother was shot. A couple of years ago when I was about 13, my mom got the god awful call from the LBPD at 10pm. My brother was at his friend’s house for a bbq a block away from my aunt’s house. I just remember my mom freaking out on the phone, nearly having a heart attack, close to drowning in her own tears. She called every single one of my siblings and I was left home alone when they left to the hospital. It turned out my brother was just shot in the leg. It was definitely gang related. When I sat down with him the next day and asked him what happened, he told me that the Mexicans around the block thought he was a gang member because of how he was dressed. All he was really wearing was a white tshirt and jeans. He told me he just heard gun shots and instantly ran. He didn’t know he was bleeding out until he made it to my aunt’s alley to hide. My mother told me at the hospital, my brother was apologizing for being bad and all that he’s done because he thought he was going to die. I thought so too, because well, I was only 13 and didn’t know any better. Around 3am, he was released with a large cast around his leg.
I know this doesn’t sound much like a defining moment, but it really is. The reason why is because even though my brother was only shot in the leg, if he was standing a couple feet to the right, or to the left, he would have been dead. Since then, I hated everyone he hung out with. I hated gangs, cliques, thugs, the ghetto, all of it. His best friend died because he was mistaken for a “gang member”. I hated the whole Mexican-Asian rivalry in the east side. I loathed my brother for going back there, for still being there for his homies even though he was shot. They never came through for him, but he ALWAYS came through for them. I guess it just runs in the family; we’re always loyal even if it means getting hurt. When I started high school, I attended Police-Youth dialogues and seminars. I was asked to join The Long Beach Gang Retention Intervention Prevention (GRIP) Advisory Council. After a year, I was nominated chair of the Education and Media sub-committee. I attended these meetings every month and put forth what I could to put all this violence to rest.