Make Chelsea Like a Family for Our Youth

By Jose Manuel Palacios Teshe,  junior, Chelsea High School

With the help of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, we were able to improve the social relations of people with different colors of skin, but now the obstacle is another. Now the problem is reducing the high rate of crime in Chelsea to reach a peaceful society, one like King envisioned.

The city of Chelsea is most of the time described as a city with a high rate of violence and crime. According to Neighborhoods count, “Relative to Massachusetts, Chelsea has a crime rate that is higher than 96% of the state’s cities and towns of all sizes.” Young adolescents are walking late at nights, wandering dangerous streets with their friends, as a result of un-provided attention by their parents and their community. Most of the time those young adolescents just want to be heard, or be a part of a group of people that treats them like family, but instead they may fall in the hands of crime and long nights of regrets. Guilt may consume them, but they think to themselves “It’s too late to go back now” and the lack of attention from anyone only pushes them further to a life filled with failure and crime. It is time now to pay close attention to the future of our society, and work together for a desired place where everyone lives without any regrets, or negative thoughts about their own city.

This day, I ask for a better society; one in which the city stands for the words of “By the people and For the people.” A society in which the city does not deny, but provides for the children of Chelsea. They have been left stranded to the mercy of their surroundings, which often chain them down to destinies in jail, or death. They have been abandoned like a mother abandons her child, without any remorse, fearing no wrongdoings directed to their flesh and blood. Now is the time I ask to be heard, and mark my words when I say this is important. Now is the time we stop ignoring the future of Chelsea, focusing only on our jobs, while still expect the best of our descendancy. Now is the time we must all stand up as a family, brothers of all nations, brothers of all shades, sharing the same mother Liberty. Liberty which grants everyone the right to be properly educated, and to be able to pursue happiness. However, how can a young person pursue her happiness, when she has been abandoned by her own family and community?

The same way Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream for a better society in which people of all colors would be able to live together and move to a better future, I also have a dream today, and I ask to be heard. I have a dream that the community of our city will sit down in events with young adolescents, encouraging them to do better. A dream in which our society behaves like a family, so that no one has fear of the night because the rate of violence is high, and instead all sleep safe and sound. A dream in which the city aids the formation of a program to help young adolescents stay out of the streets, by encouraging schools to take action and make a variety of clubs after school with mentors devoted to helping the young adolescents reach a level of success that they will be proud of. A Dream in which schools not only spread the word with simple flyers easily disposed, but instead form assemblies with students of all grades to really engage students in clubs, events, music, sports, and academics that will help adolescents stay out of the streets and become more involved with society, while reducing the rate of crime and long nights of despair. A program that reflects the true colors of a loving city “by the people and for the people.”

The essay was the honorable mention winner in this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration essay contest.

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