The Invisible Poor-Part Three

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

"I like to sing. I like to step. I like to dance. I like to write poetry and I love going to church."

Kendra France is just like any other high school senior who dreams of great success after graduation.

The only difference is Kendra grew up in a family that's "poor."

It’s a condition that has made life at school harder for the 17-year-old.

"That did bother me. Them saying that I lived in the projects. Them saying that we needed help or assistance or something."

Kendra says that when she was young she really didn't understand their situation.

Her mother was too sick to work and barely able to provide for them. It wasn't until the age of fifteen that she began to understand.

"Sometimes, when they're young, they have no idea the struggles that their parents are going through. They're surrounded by kids who are going through the same situation so it doesn't make such a big difference, except when they do go to school."

Crystal Hardeman of the Bowling Green Housing Authority says she sees many kids come into her office that have a hard time dealing with and overcoming their circumstances.

"And it’s like they have to deal with it. They are basically put into situations that are unfair, but we're asking them to just deal with it."

Approximately 20 percent of children in Kentucky live below the poverty line.

Kendra says although she's lived in the Housing Authority her entire life she wants other kids growing up in poverty to know it is only temporary and your situation isn't as bleak as others may make it sound.

"I would tell them to look on the bright side of things. You do have something. You're not out here on the streets. The housing authority is a good place to live. You're getting assistance and you’re gonna get help. "

As Kendra prepares to graduate from high school, she says her situation has made her appreciate everything in her life so much more.

"I appreciate more because I have less. But people who have more take it as, "here's something I can get, it don't bother me. It's whatever."


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