I lived in this beautiful large yellow house that was filled with charm, crown-molding, old restored fixtures, a large living area with all of my toys as a kid, and a swing-set overlooking this large park. The house was built by my great-great grandpa, and it was our family jewel for quite some time.
Now the picture described doesn't seem like a house in a sanctuary city, does it? I lived in the house described for seven years of my life, and honestly it was the 7 years of my life that I most remember. Because growing up in a sanctuary city like New Brunswick gave me memories that I cherish.
Growing up in a town like New Brunswick wasn't scary for me as a kid. My mom would walk me to and from school everyday while saying hi to everyone on the street we saw. This taught me about diversity, and being kind to everyone you meet. Because everyone in a city like New Brunswick has a story that they want to tell, including my family, and I even had a story to tell. My mom taught me to treat everyone the same despite their appearance, and I don't think if I didn't live in New Brunswick during this part of my life I would appreciate people the way I do.
I grew up going to a school where they spoke English and Spanish so I was surrounded by culture all the time. My friends would teach me Spanish during lunch, and didn't care that sometimes I couldn't understand them. It allowed me to realize how hard minorities have it since I was the minority white kid in the school. It allowed me to respect people even more than what my mom taught me on walks to school.
There was always free events in the park for children. One time we had Cartoon Network day and it was a memory I'll always remember. Some people can argue that our tax money to sanctuary cities should be cut, but the tax money gave me an opportunity to have fun being a kid when my family had little at that time. The tax money helped me get school supplies, a lunch box, or just a night in the park with kids my age. My soccer outfit was even free which saved my parents a lot of money, and ultimately left my mom with culture shock when we moved to Hillsborough and had to pay for my cheer uniform.
I was a sanctuary city kid that learned about life, people, and dreaming of more for my life. Now every time I go to my shift at the children's hospital, I see that house to remind me of the kid growing up in New Brunswick and allows me to be humble. To always appreciate the work my parents did to get out the town, but always remember the help we got.