Education Opinion

Life in Housing Projects, Part 2

By Jim Randels — January 19, 2008 2 min read
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Yesterday in class when we talked about posting Tyeasha’s essay on this blog, some of the students suggested sending Kenneth’s essay on the same topic. Kenneth’s a senior at Douglass. He attended a different public high school in New Orleans before the storm.

What’s Good Living in My Hood
Kenneth Sip

Ah man, my neighborhood was very fun, watching myself grow up with all my friends. While I was growing, there was nothing but trouble with my friends and me. Every day we were always doing stupid things like breaking people’s house window glass and car glass with rocks and broom sticks at the age 9 and 10. You know kids are going to be kids. When you’re a kid, you don’t know what you be doing. Everything you think of is going to be stupid, but at the same time you think it’s going to be fun. You grow out of it.

One day we broke this lady’s glass: Mrs. Dianne the Candy Lady. That’s when we got into trouble. We ran into these two men. They worked for housing. They had their
Housing Authority of New Orleans uniforms on. They stopped us and said, “We are two good Coaches from two good colleges.” Coach Chinese was from Louisiana Tech and
Coach Ski from Southern University. That’s when they said, “We are going to keep y’all little asses out of trouble.”

The Coaches were talking about getting a team together, and we all were happy. They told all of us to meet at practice the next day for 4:00 p.m. across the street from the project, and the coaches told us everything was free. And for every time we do something stupid we would have to do 50 push ups and Front Flip the whole field. I really wasn’t expecting that to happen: two grown men to help us bad ass kids to stay out of trouble.

I really appreciate that they took some of their time to help us. My Momma really appreciated them a lot by buying both of my Coaches beers and something to eat. Without my Coaches coming, me and all my friends would really be in a lot of trouble like stealing, cursing older people out, no respect. When my coaches came they changed everything in the project. A lot of people started to support us a lot. What I mean is every game we had the whole project coming watch us play football. That’s what affected my project. The crack heads and the drunk people were taking us seriously.

That’s what touched me, because my people had something to do other than being drunk or being on drugs. Come to think about it, the coaches just didn’t help us, they helped everybody in the project. That’s why I want to go to NFL to make money and give back to honor those who helped me with my problems. I really thank both coaches for helping me.

The opinions expressed in Student Stories: A New Orleans Classroom Chronicle are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.