Poverty in St. Louis by Adam

Poverty is an extremely depressing topic. It is a heavy topic also, going into this writing piece I will give some brief background, I am Adam, I help at the greater St. Louis Area Foodbank about 15 times a year for three hours each time. Let’s do the math here, 15×3=45. This is about 45 hours a year.  I love to do this but I still wanted to know more.

One day not too long ago, I was driving on  Kingshighway Blvd. I was at a red light and saw a man, standing there with an old piece of cardboard that said: “I am a veteran, without a home, please help.” I then thought about the fact that everyone takes what they have for granted i.e.: Food, Technology, Nice Clothes, ETC, yet this man and many others have none. About 950,000 people are living below the poverty rate in our city. This is a problem to me.

I might have seen this video 50 times, but I always walk away feeling like not enough people have seen it.

So there is this problem now of people not having enough food, driving them to McDonald’s or Burger King or Wendy’s. This then increases obesity levels, causing higher medical bills. So, now you see it, they make poor decisions in the moment because they want to do what is right for them and their family. These things need to stop and I wish they could. The job market in some places is bad right now and that will prevent some from making better food decisions.

In my most recent read, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, Junior is poor and nobody helps him. This made me sad because he is a good kid and didn’t get good conditions. Then I looked into this and realized that he is so underprivileged that he will then learn the bad habits of drinking and using money poorly. This sends him into double trouble. This puts him as an alcoholic and out of money. He is now in poverty. It saddens me to see those begging for money in the city because they have survived hardships but they can’t get a job or can’t hold one down. This puts them farther in poverty. If you are in poverty you will most likely make terrible food choices such as McDonalds. If you make choices like this, you may become obese, making the stomach larger and the appetite bigger. This also sends up money problems for buying food.

If you can see as I can, you will see the circle of events. The circle of events are sometimes deadly because you could become homeless. There are a lot of stereotypes that are connected such as Indians. Like I previously referenced the book Junior is poor and he is self-conscious about being poor. This makes his self-esteem low at school as well as makes him miss school. The poverty train is one you and your loved ones do not want to be on. Think about the next homeless person you see and wonder when the last time they ate was, was it hours, days, weeks, and then think about yourself. When was the last time you ate, minutes, hours? Some people are afraid of the homeless but, I encourage you to be more comforted around the homeless and bring them a burger from McDonalds or a sandwich from Lions Choice or a sandwich from Subway. This will for sure brighten their day and most likely yours. Things like this are what makes America great.

Recently I read that Virginia is the very first state to end U.S. Military homelessness. This struck me and I was amazed. Put yourself in a veterans shoes, you just are getting home from fighting for your country and your life and what is your reward? No home, No food, No love. The Salvation Army and the goodwill are both organizations that you can donate to help with this and you can donate old toys and clothes. That is helpful to you because, you get a tax deduction which makes this a win/win situation for both parties involved. Now that we have covered the ways you can help I would like to say that I think donating to charity is one of the more important things in life because you are helping others and that is just the right thing, and I hope you feel so too. The poverty levels in this town are too high in my opinion and I wish we could change that, and we can, by working together, regardless of Race and place of origin. Next time you are looking to help someone go to the FoodBank. Here is there registry: http://stlfoodbank.org/get-involved/volunteer/    Thank you for reading and remember, WE CAN FIGHT HUNGER!!!!!


Poverty in St. Louis By Connor


In the downtown area poverty effects the city a lot. It effects the property values and increase burden for a local government. It also lowers levels of property investment. According to Thomas Gabe from the Congressional research, the poverty rate went from 11% to 14.3% causing safety, jobs, health, and stability issues.

An average income of a St. Louis household is $52,343. The number to be considered poverty is $23,050. Most family’s that are poor don’t have health insurance and they end up paying for medical expenses with their food money.

Poverty and the poor has had a big impact on St. Louis they have gone so far as taking out all the benches in a local park because homeless people were sleeping on them. It has an effect on children also. Children in school may not be able to concentrate because they haven’t eaten since the last night and over 57,090 students in St. Louis are enrolled in the free lunch program.

A local pantry said that they served 3,980 people in April and by August the number was 5,956. They said that they will be expecting a lot more. Those serving the poor say the new numbers are no surprise. The lasting effects of long-term high unemployment is forcing people who do not typically ask for assistance to do so.



Cause and Effect of the Complexity of Struggle by Kenny

American born Chinese written by Gene luen Yang contains three different plots; the other book is the absolute True diary of a Part Time Indian written by Sherman Alexie. In this semi-autobiographical book a character name junior transfers schools which them makes him internally conflict
between being Indian and being white. Both characters learn to accept themselves for the complex individuals they are. Throughout this entry there will be picture to represent the words written above it. The picture should show either Chinkee and juniors contrast and contradictions or text supports. Chinkee and junior are from two different worlds, two different areas, and are two different symbols.

            A main stereotype Jinn was obviously stereotyped by was race. Being different was one thing, but being Chinese was another. Based on how people talk and how it can be promoted in movies a lot of people think as Chinese or other people to being nasty, weird, creepy like when jinn was at a most white school and people made rumors about him and the other 2 Chinese people.  The author most definitely put emphasis on the community Chinkee and jinn had to walk into. Jin wanted to stop being himself and become a person no like him


           Junior on the other knew that he didn’t have a choice to be someone else. He knew that being poor is what he is, what he was, and what he will always be is poor, broken, hurt, lost, backgrounders.  A common stereotype in this book as it was mentioned in the last paragraph is racism and stereotypes. When junior first switch schools it was very hard on him especially. Like Chinkee, being different and another race than the majority can be a very easy target. However unlike Chinkee, junior new that people were going to treat him differently based off of a character named Mr. P; his teacher, which could affect the way he handled it. Junior was trying to find balance between being a  native american Indian and white 
Displaying IMG_8927.JPGDisplaying IMG_8927.JPG

The author focused on the normal problems us as humans face today. Negativity, exclusion, and most importantly criticism. Because of the way the author did that, it allows the reader/ us to realize something about ourselves. It also shows how life can be a chain reaction in which one small moment can be linked to another moment which in the end it sums up to a big now like it did in American Born Chinese. In American Born Chinese the author made Chinkee a symbol to realize that it is okay to be Chinese to jinn but it wasn’t until Chinkee transformed to the monkey king and show him why he shouldn’t forfeit his soul as being an american born Chinese.


” you misunderstand my intentions, Jin. I did not come to punish you”.

” I came to serve as your conscience-as a signpost to your soul”

        In The absolute True Diary of a Part Time Indian, . Junior had to rely on other characters like Penelope his girlfriend, his mom and dad, and even jocks who he meets in his class and on the court. The author made the characters easier to connect to and unlike Gene Lu Ang all different. Whether it’s good or a bad, the characters in the absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian had a major effect on how junior could respond to racism.  In the book the moment of realization for junior was right after he lost his sister. Loss after loss junior becomes more knowledgeable about the concept of being accepted.

“I realized that I might be a lonely Indian boy, but I was not alone in my loneliness. There were millions of other Americans who had left their birthplaces in search of a dream.
I realized that, sure, I was a Spokane Indian. I belonged to that tribe. But I also belonged to the tribe of American immigrants. And to the tribe of basketball players. And to the tribe of bookworms.
And the tribe of cartoonists.Displaying IMG_8924.JPG
And the tribe of chronic mastu*******
And the tribe of teenage boys.
And the tribe of small-town kids.
And the tribe of Pacific North westerners.
And the tribe of tortilla chips-and-salsa lovers.
And the tribe of poverty.
And the tribe of funeral-goers.
And the tribe of beloved sons.
And the tribe of boys who really missed their best friends.
It was a huge realization.
And that’s when I knew that I was going to be okay.



    You might be pondering in your head saying you have already read the book and understand it but have you looked at the characters and thought about what they learned. Chinkee didn’t have to learn to be himself. Although Chinkee did learn something that he guessed in the first place without even explaining. When transforming into monkey king he learned that people can become someone who they aren’t if they choose to for fit their soul and tried to fit in. The realization wasn’t as big as juniors or jinn’s. Jinn realizes that changing yourself means changing how things affect you.  Jinn realized that his struggle of becoming someone different didn’t work and was unnecessary.  As each page was created into the story junior developed his thoughts more. His internal conflicts were about someone thing else which results in him believe he killed his sister (which he didn’t)  but then reflects and see that he is a part of a bigger tribe than he thought, That there is more than just the people he often sees, he even looks and thinks about nature. His struggle remains the same but he approaches it in a new and positive way. That then allows him to be okay with himself and gain knowledge. Now both characters think about struggle/ how they struggle in a different way.  In the end Both Character DID learn to accept themselves for the complex individuals they are.


True-Diary of a Part Time Indian: 4 stages of grief by David

The main character Junior in the book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian By: Sherman Alexie deals with many losses throughout the book. This book is about him being bullied and being stereotyped and his rough life on the reservation. He went through the 4 of the 5 stages of grief, and they are acceptance, denial, anger, and depression.

Denial: Some people would deny that friends or family members are dead but, Junior could tried his best to do that with the death of his sister. “Your sister is gone” Miss Warren said. “I know she’s gone,” I said. “She lives in Montana now.” “No,” Miss Warren said. “Your sister, she’s dead.” After that Junior had to accept that his sister was gone and there was no way to get her back. I chose this one because it shows that Junior is trying to deny/avoid that he and his family are poor.


Anger: Junior builds up his anger in some parts of the book so he take them out on a bully from his school named Rodger and his best friend Rowdy. On page 65, Junior gets into a little argument with a bully from his school because he made a racist joke, so then Junior got so fed up with that he just had to punch him in the face. “So I punched Rodger in the face.” Another example is when he and Rowdy get into a fight. I don’t exactly remember the page number.

Depression: A lot of people of deal with depression, but Junior had to deal with it the most because his life on the rez and the death of his grandma, Eugene and his sister. On page 211. Junior is talking to his best friend Rowdy about it. “But she only got married so quickly and left the rez because I had left the rez first. She was only living in Montana in a cheap trailer house because I had gone to school in Reardan. She had burned to death because I had decided that I wanted to spend my life with white people. Another example is when he is describing how great his grandmother on page 155 he says, “She still hung on to that old-time Indian spirit you know?”

Acceptance: Junior had to accept a lot of things like when his grandmother died and his sister’s death. Like I said in my paragraph about “Denial” that Junior had to accept that his sister was dead and he couldn’t do anything about, I found an example on page 201, “That was it. I couldn’t fake my way around that. Dead is dead.” “I was stunned. But I wasn’t sad. The grief didn’t hit me right away. Junior had to accept that his sister died because of him, well not literally but mentally. She only left the rez because Junior was going to leave, so she felt like she could do what she wanted. After he left the rez he realized that bad things started to happen back home with the death of his grandma, and now he had to deal with his sister’s death.


 In conclusion, reading this book and experiencing what junior went through. I learned that you should never judge someone by their looks, the way they act, or even the way they talk. If you’re going to say something about somebody, don’t if you can’t say anything nice about that person then don’t say anything at all. Or just don’t mess with them or bother them.

Poverty Ruins Childhoods By Parker

 The depiction of Junior’s experience in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is realistic. Junior had many social difficulties and physical issues that were the result to his poor economic situation. If he would have had more money, he could have received more medical treatment and his life could have been more enjoyable. When students are poor it makes them sad and this negatively impacts their childhood.

In 2014, 22% of all children that went to school were living in poverty, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty. Poverty means the state of being extremely poor. For a family living in poverty, their total income is only $23,550 a year. This is the poverty line for a family of four. To be able to cover basic needs and expenses, families would need an income of about twice this level or more than $47,100 to cover this. The Federal Government poverty line definition is half of what it should be for families to realistically meet their needs. This leaves about 45% of children in low-income families or in poverty. Poverty can affect kids in school’s health, nutrition, behavior problems, and poor language.

Poverty’s impact on health affects many aspects of a child’s development and life. Kids that are poor have more untreated ear infections and hearing loss issues. They also have a greater risk of asthma if and when exposed to lead. Exposure to lead causes poor working memory and a weaker ability to think. Kids with ear infections may have trouble with sound discrimination, making it hard to follow directions, do highly demanding auditory processing, and understand the teacher. This can hurt their reading ability and other skills. Poor diets also affect behavior. Students can often appear listless when they have low energy or hyperactive when they have too much sugar.

Nutrition can also cause problems during and before school. Because of being poor, they kids usually skip breakfast or eat low nutrition food, and poor nutrition at breakfast affects gray matter mass in children’s brains. When students experience poor nutrition and diminished health practices, it’s harder for them to listen, concentrate, and learn. Children that are within 130-180% of the poverty level and go to school can get free or reduced price meals.

Poverty can also impact children’s ability to learn through impoverished environment. Children in low-income families hear, on average, 13 million words by age 4. In middle-class families, children hear about 26 million words during that same period of time. In higher-income families, they hear about 46 million words by age 4, that’s three times as many words as lower-income kids. This can cause kids to fall behind on class and struggle at something else besides at home and health. This can cause students to dropout of school. The dropout rate for families in poverty in 2015 was over 1.2 million students, according to DoSomething.org. That’s a student every 26 seconds, or 7,000 a day.

Lack of access to affordable transportation further hurts low-income families makes it difficult for them to fit in. According to Harvard economist, there is a strong relationship between transportation and social mobility. Families that have access to low cost transportation have  a larger range of jobs to pick from and can take their kids places more easily. Kids in the poverty level have a harder time fitting in. For example, they may have to wear the same clothes over again or dirty clothes. They may not have any electronics. Also, kids in poverty could get made fun of because of how they look.

So in the end, poverty can affect kids in school by their families not making enough money, health issues, behavior problems, nutrition, and dropping out. In the book, Junior had severe health issues which were not helped by lack of nutrition. Junior’s family was negatively impacted by their poverty. Many of them drank alcohol to try to escape their sadness. The result of this was accidental deaths that left Junior sad, depressed, and lonely.