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The Scholarship/Empathy Exercise, by PeopleSkool BlackAugust 2022 Poverty Skolaz

POOR Magazine believes that folks who have struggled through poverty, racism, and other forms of oppression and violence should be the folks to speak up and be heard on issues of violence, racism, poverty, disability, the criminal Un-justice system, etc. Below are the writings of Poor Magazine's BlackAugust PeopleSkool 2022 Poverty Skolaz in response to the prompt:

Crisis is universal–we have all had it. Please briefly describe one of your worst crisis below–financial, family, self, health, etc.

My crisis happened 6 years ago when my husband passed away. And a few years after that, I developed arthritis in both knees with no cartilage. So this makes my struggle real, but with the help of My Divine Creator, He helps me every day to make it.

–Michelle Mack

Moving back into the roofless world again by calling on my ancestors while I live it!

–Broron Cloud

I was in prison for 37 years. I suffered many medical conditions while in prison. I managed to survive that and make it back into society. I’m doing the right thing, holding down a job and getting off parole. I wound up breaking my neck at work. I can’t work because of my medical condition.


Por mi vida he pasado crisis de comida, ropa porque mi mamá y mi papá no tienen nada. Pero gracias a Dios ahora que llegué a ese país ahora estoy ayudando a mi mama. Pero ahora estoy ayudando para comer a mi mamá porque ella sufrió conmigo. Y ahora por eso voy a seguir adelante con mis hijos, no quiero que mis hijos queden en la calle. Por eso necesitamos más ayuda. Gracias.

In my life I’ve experienced crises of food and clothing because my mother and my father don’t have anything. But thank God since I came to this country I’m now helping my mother. But now I’m helping my mother to eat because she suffered with me. And now that’s why I’m going to keep going with my kids, I don’t want my kids to end up in the street. That’s why we need more help. Thank you.

–Catalina Matias Matias

–trying to find a place

–it’s very difficult

staying with a friend

–very difficult

–once I get things together

It’s dangerous on the streets

–Good there are programs like this to get food and help : )

–Emma Robinson

Vengo de una familia humilde y pobre pero además he pasado muchas crisis. 1) de ellas ha sido el maltrato en el hogar 2) y ahora la mala salud y a esto sumo mi crisis económica.

Me voy a enfocar en mi crisis económica por esto es lo que estoy pasando en este momento. Es complicado decirlo. Pero es la realidad.

Ya son 6 meses que no trabajo y no porque yo no quiera si no porque no encuentro trabajo. Hace 6 meses que me caí y quebré mi pie y esa es la razón porque no estoy trabajando ahora mismo. Gracias a esta programa.

I come from a humble and poor family, but I’ve also been through a lot of crises. The first of them has been abuse in my home, and now it’s bad health, and that added to my economic crisis.

I’m going to focus on my economic crisis, that’s the reason for what I’m going through at this time. It’s hard to say it. But it’s the reality.

I haven’t worked in 6 months, and not because I don’t want to, because I can’t find work.

Six months ago I fell and broke my leg and that’s the reason why I’m not working right now. Thank you to this program.

–Juana Ayala Montano

Lo que tengo un pesar, por que mi hermana se murió, que éramos las dos que nos regalaron a una tía y sufrimos mucho, juntas tenemos muchos recuerdos, yo todavía le hablo. Dios se la llevó.

Mi hermana se llamaba Mariana. No le he podido superarlo todavía.

A mi pues mis hijos son los que me ayudan con la renta y los biles, agua. Yo hago el esfuerzo para pagar el internet.

Mi nietecita Corina Abigail Galindo me ayuda a pagar el internet. Yo la crié y es como mi hija. Desde que salió del cascaron yo la cuide como mi hija.

No en cualquier parte me dan trabajo por la edad. Lo que a mi, no tengo acta de nacimiento original estoy batallando en el registro civil para viajar pero no puedo.

No hago como arreglar eso solo tengo el ID. Lo perdio el registro civil. No puedo agarrar el pasaporte. Ni puedo ir a visitar a mi hermana en Los Angeles.

What I have is a sadness, because my sister died. We were both given to an aunt and we suffered a lot, we have many memories together. I still talk to her. God took her away.

My sister’s name was Mariana. I still haven’t been able to get over it.

Well my kids are the ones who help me with the rent, bills, and water. I make an effort to pay for the internet.

My little niece Corina Abigail Galindo helps me pay the internet. I raised her as my daughter. Ever since she left the nest, I took care of her as my daughter.

They won’t give me work anywhere because of my age. I don’t have an original birth certificate. I’m struggling with the civil registry pero no puedo. I can’t resolve this, I only have an ID. The civil registry lost it. I can’t get a passport. I can’t even go visit my sister in Los Angeles.

–Felipa Zacueta Mendoza

A very frightening moment was when two IRS agents came to the door and threatened me with federal prosecution for my refusal to pay taxes for war. Though I knew that it’s very unusual to go to prison for war tax resistance, they occasionally try to make an example of someone. As a mother of two young children, the threat of a prison sentence was very scary for me. Would I be separated from my kids?


I have a crisis even in learning or getting things done in a “timely manner.” But I am doing my best. : )

Crisis in learning

Crisis in being (struggling with my size at times)

Crisis in accepting and loving myself

–Leila M

One of my family's worst crises would have to be or start when I was 7 all the way up to 12 and now. When I was 7 my mom had a failing heart, she was diagnosed and taken to Stanford where they kept her for a long time of our lives, where we got to see her once a month, where she grew depressed and angry, where my dad wouldn’t work because of being with her, those times were sad. We feared that she wouldn’t make it and that the last minutes, days, and hours would be lonely and sad. She got better, she never recovered and she still goes every once in a while to the doctors for check ups but she’s been good lately and we all now care for each other.

–Mario Manzano

The worst crisis that me and my son went through was in 2017 when I lost my house and everything that was inside. Me and the landlord settled out of court and he paid me $1000. To make a long story short, me and my son was separated and was reconnected and had to stay in the Salvation Army–it took us a long time to get back on track. I called the BACS program and I really appreciate their help. I had to also fight the Housing Authority to get my Section 8 back. I got my Section 8 back but now I’m looking for my dream apartment or house: I thank God everyday–because I’m a 14 yr cancer survivor.


Yo pienso que no nos tenemos que quedar callados, tenemos que hablar, que se escuche nuestra voz.

La pior que he pasado es perder a mis padres y dos hermanos pero todo se supera.

I think we shouldn’t stay quiet. We have to speak so our voice can be heard.

The worst I have been through is losing my parents and two brothers but everything can be overcome.


I fortunately have had an amazing life but of course we have all had a crisis. To describe one of my crises explains who I am inside. My family was once evicted from our home, we were couch hopping for around 4 months with a low income and no legal papers to own a house, we had nowhere to go. We picked ourselves back up and moved in with my mom’s brother and sister. Now we live in a house full of family. Still in struggle, but with some place to come home to.

–Kevin Uriel Villanueva-Merino, 17 yrs old

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