Young People's Perspectives in Steelton

We were interested in learning about the perspectives of young people in Steelton. We wanted to know what they thought about life and schooling and their town. What better way to learn, than to ask them directly, give them a camera to shoot what they wa nted to shoot, and then tell us what they wanted to share about their lives? So we gave them a video camera and a mike...

Living in Steelton

Where will I be in five years?



Historical Perspective on Race and Schooling

Living in Steelton

(When asked to tell about where they live) These are the photos they took and the words they wrote or spoke:

"Steelton and Highspire are very boring places to live if you're a teenager. If you are over 21, there are a lot of bars and places to go. Both towns are small and news travels really fast, especially bad news. One of the good things is that everyone k nows each other and are able to pull together at certain times. One of my fondest memories of the two towns was in 1992, when our basketball team won State Championship." (high school student).

"Steelton is a town that was created with a Steel mill, which is now being torn down. The people of Steelton come from many different backgrounds, each group brought their own customs and own way of life. Today you can still see some customs, but most a re all mixed together. The kids mostly walk the streets or play sports, mainly basketball." (high school student).

"All of my boys live in my area, our chill spot is my crib. We go there and gamble. My mom allows it because she gambles with us. If it's warm, we go to the courts and play ball, listen to music, drink, smoke, gamble, and fuck with old heads. Everybod y up Eastside is cool with each's all about growing up with your boys." (high school student)

Create-A-Town: Mrs. Cox's 3rd Grade Class

"My ville is called Nancy I. Shipe-ville. It is little, I mean, it is light brown and very big, expensive buildings. Everybody lives in the town. Some are very tall and some are short. They wear jeans and jean tops. They eat anything they want to. T hehouses are kindof short, and pretty inside. They get up at four thirty am. They go to sleep at eleven thirty pm. They work in the day. They sleep at night. Yes there are stores in my town. They are very big, and nice inside. The schools are nice and good teaching. Nobody is allowed to smoke and nobody is allowed to drink and drive. They treat them nice and kind. Yes there are animals--dogs and horses. --April, third-grader

"My town is called Skimmerville. My town has really nice houses and are pretty big. My town is pretty big- they hae a forest. The buildings are fairly large. It has some businesses, but the businesses aren't that big. Also the houses are spread apart . The people who live here are nice people and treat everybody equally. Most of the people who live here are dressed properly, but some dress differently. But everyone eats differently. No one really eats the same. The houses in my town are fairly la rge, but not too big, or not too small. Most of the parents work during the day, because at night they want to spend time with their children. Yes they have, my town has grocery stores, like Giant and Festival. The schools are very good, and are well b uilt. My rules are no graffiti, no violence, no drugs, no guns, et cetera. Most of the people treat each other nice, but some people are mean and scary. Yes, there are forest animals, like deer, rabbits, raccoons, and squirrels. --Petar, third-grader< P>

"The town's called Skeeterville. It is very big, but little houses. See that doesn't make sense. My mom and dad live there. They're like regular people. They dress like regular people. They dress like they want. They dress like regular people. The y eat chicken. They work in the day. They do what ever they want in the day and then at night, they go to bed. Um, yes there are stores--the Giant, and um, Sam's Club (wholesale). And I put the schools are bad and I put Timothy in charge. And, um, th e people to each other are mean. No there is no animals. (Mrs. Cox: If you're in charge do you want the people there to be mean?) I don't know." --Tim, third-grader

"My town is called Mochestep. town is very big, roomy, and open wide areas. Um, my people is regular respecting people. They look decent, there's no bums. They eat many foods, there are too many to name. The houses are decent. People love t hem. They do what they want to do because some are grown-ups, really and you can' tell them what to do. And there um, oh no wait. Oh, yeah, and I put parties are their favorite. And, yes there are stores. They are huge. They have food stores and clo thes and anything you want don't have to go to many different stores. Our school is decent-yeah our school is decent and I put number six, I am in charge. No drugs, no beers, just coolers I guess and then...oh number seven. If you get caught d oing drugs, you will get kicked out my town. And, they treat each other equal. They don't fight amongst each other, and number nine is any animals you can name. --Janeesha, third-grader

Where will I be in five years?

(In response to a free-writing exercise)

"In five years from now, I see myself getting out of college and joining the service, trying to get settled down for the rest of my life. I will come back and visit some classmates and teachers to tell them how I'm doing, and also to see how they're doin g. I'll probably have a kid, even though I don't want one." --Tro

"I don't know where I will be in five years, but I hope I have a job somewhere with a little apartment somewhere. If I had that I would be happy. I wouldn't want to be married, though, because I would only be 19 and that is too young to be tied down wit h one girl. As long as I have my own place to stay and a car, I will be alright for a while I guess. Just as long as I ain't in jail I'll be cool. I don't care where I'm at, for real." --Aug

"Where I see myself in five years. Right now I have no idea where I'm gonna be. Here are some of my options as of right now.
My first option is I could try to get a job for the state. The reason I chose the State is because that is where I work now for my co-op job. The best thing about the State is when you are hired full-time you get full benefits. That's important to me b ecause I need something to cover my daughter who is already two years old.

My second option depends whether or not I pass my A.C.T. test this Saturday. If I pass I'm going to a J.C. in West Virginia called Potomac State College to play football. That's the only reason I want to go to college because I don't want my football ca reer to end. My major will be business management, I want to own my own health club.

My third and final choice is I could sign up for the Army. I had already taken my ASVAB test, but I failed. If I would take it again and pass, there are so many things that would benefit me. One thing is that I would get a paycheck every month, and you can easily get a raise. While in the Army I could go to college and they would pay for 80% of it. I could save my money because I would not have to pay for food, clothes, or shelter. I would be able to send mon ey home for my daughter, Imrelle. There is one main disadvantage and that is Imrelle. I don't think I could be away from her for that long. I love her too much to be away from her for that amount of time.

As you can see, I'm so confused right now I don't even know what I'm going to do next year let alone five years from now." --Imre Binicz

These Steelton descriptions are from the native voices of the community. There is much more information available. If you are interested in this information, please contact Professor Rose at

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