Monday, July 18, 2011

Momma, don't let your babies grow up to be.... Gang memebers!

Oh the summer is at an eye's end.... unfortunately. For me, that means going back to school and of course going back to traveling. For those of you that keep up with me, you know that I travel back and forth every other week to work in Wittenburg, WI at a treatment center for children and adolescents. So here I am getting a head of myself and researching about what I need to prepare myself for when I head back to Wittenburg in the fall. So, what is it? What is one of the biggest things I need to research? Well, that would be gang activity in the Midwest, and Wisconsin in general. Unfortunately, gang activity is on the rise in this state and most of the kids I work with, are facilitating with a gang or are interested in gang activity. Boo! For myself and many people around me, we are unaware and uneducated as to how bad gang activity is in our poor cheese-loving state.

What is a "Gang"? --- some of you are probably thinking... duh, we know what gangs are... well, do you? There are a lot of people that think they do... but you'd be surprised.

-Street gangs can be defined as a group of three or more people that form an allegiance, whether formal or informal, which meets the following criteria:

- Common name or identifiers, (i.e. tattoos, clothing/colors, symbols, hand-signs, etc.) --watch out for this.... the kids I work with are pretty sneaky when it comes to symbols and colors... you'd be surprised if you really paid attention to people every day.

- Has member or associates who, individually or collectively, engage or have

engaged in criminal activity, to further the purpose of the gang.

Two of the major "Nation" gangs that are in Wisconsin are: Folk Nation, and People Nation.

Some of the gangs that are represented as "Folk Nation" are:

Black Gangster Disciples                    
Latin Disciples
Black Disciples                                        
Maniac Latin Disciples
Gangster Disciples                                   
SimonCity  Royals
Imperial Gangsters                                
Spanish Gangster Disciples
La Raza                                                       
Two Sixers
Spanish Cobras                                        
Latin Eagles

Some of the major gangs that area affiliated with "People Nation" gangs are:
Latin Kings
Spanish Lords
El Rukns
Black P Stones
Latin Counts
Mickey Cobras

The Latin Kings are the oldest and largest Hispanic-led street gang in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Kenosha area.

Now… Why am I writing this blog about gangs?  Your answer: To raise awareness about children activity in gangs. 


According to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, youth gangs have about 772,000 members nationwide, with half of them being teens under 18. That equates to about 1.6% of 13- to 17-year-olds in the U.S.  That is a lot…. And CAN be prevented.  The numbers are astonishing and increasing EVERY DAY. What is it about gangs that are so appealing to children? Gangs offer identity which a child may not have felt he or she had before. Gangs also offer belonging, protection, money, sex, and status. The majority of the children who become involved in such groups as gangs usually don't have a sense family or belonging to anyone, are lonely, are looking for friends, or take after their parents gang activity and involvement.   

So parents, don’t let  your babies grow up to be…. Gang members.   :/

Friday, July 8, 2011

L.O.V.E Language of Various Emotions.

              The other day I was bartending my little booty off and after a long 15 hour day I was ready to go home. I started to close up the bar and noticed a couple about my parents age walking in... (or stumbling would be a better way to put it). I growled to myself, rolled my eyes and was tempted to tell them "Sorry we're closed" just as they were walking in.... good customer service right?? Well, when they walked in the door and just as those words were about to roll off my tongue, my inner spirits told me no. I instantly felt this overwhelming feeling when I watched them sit at the bar and my bad energy had left my body. I served them their bud lights and shots of tequila and just watched them. Sounds creepy... but I was infatuated with how this couple used their nonverbal language to express their compassion towards each other. After watching them like a stalker person..  I asked them how long they  have been together and the woman said with a drunken stumbled voice "33 amazing years and I wouldn't be alive without him today."  I must of given them a distraught look of some kind because he looked at me and said "this is my baby's day out, she was just cleared of stage 4 breast cancer" and a tear rolled down his cheek.  I instantly felt a lump growing in my throat. The lady then proceeded to tell me about her treatment and how hard it was and that she couldn't thank her husband enough because he was there for it all.  Holding her hand through chemo and every appointment along the way.  I was in awe over them and their amazing story.  I have never in my (almost) 24 years of life, witnessed a love like this... where the energy completely fills the room and everyone in it.  There were tears of joy and happiness between them that just instantly made me so incredibly happy.  I believe that God, (or whatever you believe in) was not ready to take her because their love was so strong and compassionate that they need to be the proof to people that "true love" still does exist.  The population of people today is so confused as to what love is, that so many of us take it for granted.. or look for it in all the wrong places.  I'm no expert on love, but I am learning and I am willing to learn and give it a chance. 

         Recently, there have been (oddly enough) some bizarre love triangles in my life, that involve myself as a person... but not myself (as in my own heart... well, I am involved with someone and VERY happy about it... but he is not part of the situation I'm referring to).  After meeting the couple, I started to play some of these situations out in my head.  It seems like so many people (people I know) are just so desperate for a love like this that they look for love in all the wrong places and wrong reasons... or they stay with someone because they think they are "happy" or they feel like they "have to" and are just plain scared of being alone.  So, I started to brainstorm... because I do need to vent a little... and this is my reasoning why people end up in unhappy relationships:

             1.)  "I don't want to have to start over again"  -- to me this spells out "Lazy".  Granted, there can indeed be some insecurity issues here, but really... it's all about laziness.  Even if the relationship falls short of expectations, it's often just way too comfortable, and harder to leave.  Truth be told, staying in stale and faded relationships can literally turn into being a matter of continuing to wake up doing the exact same thing that went on yesterday, and fighting about the exact same thing you fought about last week rather than taking action.... that right there, is true procrastination.  Ask yourself, do you want to be happy?
              2.) You like what they "Represent".  -- this right here folks, is one of the most common aspects of a failed relationship.  I have seen this happen to so many people, so many close friends.  If you are having a hard time finding your perfect "type" of person... you may not know yourself.  One of the best ways to start improving your life and any situation you’re in – whether it’s a relationship with a man/woman or any other potentially great and important situation – is to find amazing resources and information that will help you quickly GROW and LEARN.  After getting to know yourself, you will be more aware as to what kind of person you could see yourself with and not what they represent.  Take a mini vacation to yourself, give your heart a break and let your spirit lead the way. 
              3.)  Filling the "emptiness"-- If you are staying in a relationship or looking for a relationship to ease the emptiness inside you, the harsh reality is that no relationship is ever going to completely fill you up.  Once the easy emotional connection and satisfaction of honeymoon love wears off, you could find that you're not filled up after everything you've been through and soon your partner won't be good enough for you or possibly feel good enough.  This void or empty spot is the very thing that makes you so vulnerable to the wrong relationships in the first place.  It will lead you to get involved not because a man/woman or relationship is right for you, but because you are driven to fill the "emptiness".  Patience truly is a virtue, and if you wait... good things will come. 
           There's probably 600 more reasons I could come up with but for now these are the ones that stick out in my head the most.  If you are in a relationship, or looking for the perfect relationship... or want the compassionate love like the couple I referred to, take a step out of your box.... it may be hard, but it's not the end of the world and if you stay positive... you will find happiness. 
Ta ta for now.