Growing Up In The Poorest State In The Country
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Growing Up In The Poorest State In The Country

From 50th in Education to 1st in Poverty, Teen Pregnancy, and Robbery

Growing Up In The Poorest State In The Country

New Mexico, the 'Land of Enchantment,' is the state that is often overlooked by outsiders. Some people don't even know that it's a state. It's the place that raised me and made me who I am, yet as I've grown older I've realized its many faults. There's a running joke among fellow New Mexicans that we're number one in all the bad things and last in all the good. It really is no laughing matter, though, that thousands of people in the state I call home are struggling to barely scrape by.

I live in Albuquerque- the biggest city in the state. On almost every street corner there are homeless people and beggars asking for money. There's a park right by my house with a community pool, softball fields, and a dog park. It was where I used to play my softball tournaments and run around with my puppies with the fresh eye of youth. Now, I look upon the park with adult eyes and am terrified to walk around it and see all the drug needles that litter the wood chips of the dog park.

Park littered with needles nearly one year after SHARP program

Park littered with needles nearly one year after SHARP

Workers at an Albuquerque community center say they find dozens of hypodermic needles in their park, daily. With summer right around the corner, they're about to have hundreds of kids playing there every day.

With these high rates of poverty come high crime rates. This year Albuquerque was named number one in robbery, specifically auto-theft. Cars are constantly stolen, so much so that the Albuquerque Police Department rarely bats an eye. My senior biology teacher had her car stolen when she was at the movie theater. When she got home, the thieves were attempting to break into her house because she left her registration (which had her address) in her car. Another example of the lengths that criminals go to in New Mexico is how my best friend's car was broken into in her own driveway. She left nothing in her car except her bowling ball in her bag, which was taken. Luckily it was nothing else, but it just shows how desperate criminals are in this state to simply make a couple of bucks.

Then, there's the education aspect. Albuquerque Public Schools lacks funding due to poverty-stricken circumstances, which then allows for poor education. There are not many resources for a prospering learning environment. Not only that, but the struggle to get kids to attend school, and doing well in it nevertheless, is difficult when one-third of children in New Mexico live below the poverty line. Therefore, it's harder for them to escape the circle of poverty that traps them. With this worse education comes a lack-luster sex education, which is why there are thousands of teen pregnancies. All of these things (poverty, crime rates, bad education, and teen pregnancy) all feed off each other and are hard to improve.

Saying all this, though, I believe that change is possible and that New Mexico can escape these deficiencies. I'm glad I grew up where I did because now I'm constantly aware of my surroundings and am suspicious of sketchy situations. It was ingrained in me to be careful everywhere I go. It's also humbled me and made me sympathetic with those who are homeless and those are struggling to get by because those people were my classmates, teammates, friends, and so much more. Growing up in New Mexico shaped me into who I am and I wouldn't choose to have grown up anywhere else.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments