Reflecting on your childhood, what types of barriers/disparities existed that limited your ability to lead a healthier life? Were there any short-term or long-term consequences?
I lived in North Philadelphia when I was younger. There were many ways the community was not healthy, but one thing that is important to note is safety. Olney district of Philadelphia has one of the highest crimes in Philadelphia. Shootings, child molestations, and theft were common in the area, which limited me to lead a healthier life. My brother and I stayed inside our home watching television often, which limited the ability for us to lead a healthier life. Before rise of the crime, my brother and I always played in the neighbor, rode our bikes, and went to the park right behind our house. We met a lot of the neighborhood kids, and got our daily exercise from playing. The short-term consequence was lack of socialization and heavy boredom. Both of our parents worked all day, and our grandmother took care of us most of the time. Since the crimes started, it was difficult to stay outside the neighborhood and talk to our friends, as well as, utilize the park and bikes. I believe the crimes also started to build up anxiety and fear within the community, including us, and there were more stress, anger, frustration due to the crimes. In the long run, we moved to the suburbs, with more green area and kids our age to play “again”, and my parents felt stress free within the safe community development.