A lot of people say I’m a strong person, somebody they can look up to. I love the compliments but I don’t think I’m that strong. I have been through a lot and still manage to keep a smile on my face, but people don’t even know the pain I feel inside until I break down. My name is LaToya Carroll I was born and raised in West Oakland, CA. I like growing up in West Oakland even though I have lost a lot of love ones to violence. I like that my community is small and I have a lot of family there. I wish there were more opportunities as far as jobs, schools and recreation centers.
In the 10th grade I transferred to Berkeley High School so I could get better education. When I was going to school in West Oakland, I wasn’t really learning anything and I got into a lot of trouble. I wanted a better future for myself so I decided to go to Berkeley schools. I got my first job at my school through a youth program in Berkeley. Oakland schools didn’t have those opportunities. I graduated in 2006.
Earlier this year I had a daughter. Her name is Riniyah Ann Marie Davis and she’s 5 ½ months. She’s my reason for everything. When I was 7 months pregnant, her father Richard Davis passed in a car accident. That was the worst thing I ever experienced. It is unexplainable the pain I felt on October 11, 2009. I still feel that pain. It is hard being a single mother. I wish everyday that Richard was here helping me with our daughter. In April 2010, I started a new job as a resident advisor at Alameda County Public Health Department. I give input on programs and how we can improve our communities. I want to help people like me who really don’t have support outside of work or school. One of my main goals is to help make a change for my daughter’s and other babies’ futures.
Building Blocks Collaborative
Alameda County Public Health Department