It has been a long road from birth to my current position as a college senior. I grew up poor in Orange Mound and saw a lot of things. I seen people with prominent futures go from living large to dead broke. I just took notes and applied them to my mind moving forward. I always felt Memphis was a very poor city and a death trap for those who had a chance to become very successful. The schools I went to from grades K-8 were in poor communities. I was accepted in a optional program at Overton High School for drama. The first day of class was a complete inter city culture shock. My fellow classmates had different views on things. They all listened different types of music. Their career goals were different from the kids from my previous schools. I was in for a life changing experience.
Most of the kids at my high school came from middle and upper-middle class families. They were not to familiar with the poor parts of Memphis. As time passed I befriended my classmates. I hung out their house and they hung out at mine. We swapped inter Memphis cultures. My house they enjoyed pizza and rotel. While at their house I enjoyed crab legs and shrimp. I think I came out the winner. Their parents had successful careers and were in a strong network. While hanging out I learn a lot about my city that was unknown in my community. I met and interacted with blacks who made six figures a year. This was unheard of I was completely shocked. I went to high end restaurants and attended formal events that surprised my expectations. I quickly learned that Memphis had a lot to offer.
Memphis was not as far behind as I thought. We have a host of things to be proud of. The corporate atmosphere is very competitive with other southern cities. FedEx, AutoZone, and other large companies have a strong effect on employment here. Memphis and its surrounding areas has a host of golf courses which has a positive effect on businessmen. I did not think a lot of people played golf, but I learned otherwise. Many of the upper-middle class would play golf together. This was a similarity to big cities. I was the caddy for a doctor for a summer and he exposed me to Memphis’s business world. I witnessed myself the strong networking of the elite. Many high dollar deals were made on the peaceful course. The city has slowly developed around me, and its having a positive effect on the college students. Students are now considering not to relocate. The downtown area made a excellent turn around. It has many things to do and some nice places to live. Streets have developed and security cameras have made the area safer. Memphis has shown me that it is not a death trap. People have become very successful in the city. I know now from going outside of my environment. My advice for tourists and fellow residents of Memphis is to go outside your comfort zone. You fear what you do not know. Get to know Memphis as a city and a thriving business center.