By Kahmaria Adams

I have never been in a moment like that before. I’ve never been in a situation where I had to feel scared about being around a gun.

At that particular moment I did not get off the bus. Part of me was telling me, ‘Get off the bus!’ but I had to be somewhere and I was running late so I stayed on the bus and moved all the way to the front with the driver. I was going to say to him I was in a hurry, so I was hoping let’s put a push on it, but I did not do anything or say anything in that particular moment. I was nervous, my heart was beating really hard.

I manage my time. The bus comes in the last five minutes of every hour. I get on that bus and go home.

In the morning, it’s ok. There have been some shootings up there but in the morning I feel OK because my dad walks me up there to the bus stop with me. I don’t have the anxiety in the morning. I’m not saying things can’t happen in the morning, but they usually don’t.
The common sense my parents taught me is you just don’t stay around that (something dangerous).

A family friend of mind had been shot and killed. He was 19. Two days before that another person I know was killed, too.

There are so many people killing each other.

If you are a parent and your child is out how can you sit with yourself not knowing where your child is? My parents are not that way. Everywhere I go I call home. It makes me feel better to know my parents care where I am.”


This story and the entire Educational Voices series were made possible through the support of The California Endowment. Our student reporters for this series are participants in programs at The East Oakland Youth Development Center in East Oakland. Many thanks to the Endowment and the Center for the support of this program, and to our wonderful coaches, trainers and student reporters.

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