Visiting New York City, people are often blindsided by the glitz and charm of the city. But they fail to realize that one out of four children living in New York go to bed hungry. Little do they know that some students walk home from school with the fear of being mugged or harassed in the back of their heads. Some of these things were reality for Tyrone newcomer Julia Raysor.
Born and raised in New York City, Raysor was speechless when her family said they were moving to Pennsylvania. Raysor and her family lived in what she described as fairly good neighborhoods around New York, but that didn’t stop the reality crime and poverty from influencing her life.
Once, as Raysor was walking home after school, she was frightened by the sound of gunshots. A corner store close to her house had been the scene of a shooting and her neighbor was a victim. Although he survived, she will never forget that day.
“I stopped at the store almost daily after school,” said Raysor. “God forbid if I went in there that day, I would have been caught in the middle of it and my life would have been changed forever.”
Sadly, shootings are a reality for folks that live in the city. Raysor has had several people in her life been shot at.
“People like looking at the glitz and the glamour of the city, but nobody actually realizes for the people who live there it’s a completely different experience. It’s really rough, you build like a cocoon around you because you can’t trust people.”
Many Tyrone natives have never had to experience things like this and probably never will.
The Tyrone senior was amazed when her family landed here in Tyrone. Her family wanted a quiet place to live, and according to Raysor, they found the perfect place.
“I have never lived in a rural area. So seeing a mountain every time I look out my window surprises me all the time. I’m used to loud noise coming from traffic and the subway passing or people talking outside, not peace and quiet,” said Raysor.
Raysor describes Tyrone as “a small family.”
‘’In New York City people care more about taking care of themselves than helping someone else. In a neighborhood where everyone is struggling to put food on the table or pay their rent on time usually nobody can find time to attend to someone else’s needs.’’
That’s another one of her favorite things about a small community. This was a new thing for her. Back at home she watched many of her friends and their families struggle to put a meal on the table and make rent in time.
Raysor also says the school is very different. She claims school here is a lot more slow paced and personal but there is way more homework. Her first days at TASD she compared our school to the one on High School Musical.
‘’I always thought tennis was a sport only played in college, I was shocked when I came here and saw a tennis court,” said Raysor.
Raysor has lived all around New York, and as a result she adapted some traits that many people around here wouldn’t understand. “You learn not to trust anybody, not even family. Watch or be more aware of your surroundings. Walk fast all the time…extremely fast,” said Raysor.
‘’You guys are so lucky, you have a very loving community who would do anything for you. You don’t find that in the city,” said Raysor.
That is one of the things she liked most about a small town.
As much as she has grown to love and appreciate Tyrone, according to Raysor she would still prefer to live NYC over Tyrone.
‘’NYC is my home so I love being there regardless of how bad it may be. But I like Tyrone as well because of how peaceful it is,” said Rayzor.
Wherever life takes her, Raysor will always remember what it was like living in a small town and will always hold Tyrone close to her heart.