Bronx Community College Students in the Reader’s Forum


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This is our second set of commentary from students at Bronx Community College.  Dr. Rafeal Mendez invited students in his psychology courses to read Chapters 2 and 3 of $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America and to write a post for our blog.



Marie Dorleans is taking the Psychology of Infancy and Childhood.

According to chapter 3 it is stating that it is hard to afford an apartment with low minimum wage. Earning low minimum wage makes it difficult to take care of your family because you are responsible for feeding and clothing your children and making sure that they have a roof over their heads. In chapter three Jennifer did not have enough money to buy an apartment with two bedrooms, so her children and herself were living in the same bedroom. Jennifer had a job at “Catalina Spa & Salon”. Jennifer and Andrea, her coworker, both did their part of the job very well, but then Andrea got into an accident she could not work and so Jennifer took her shift to make extra money. That was a heavy load for her, plus her manager didn’t give her a raise for the extra work so she left that job.  It was hard for her to even tell us what happen to her daughter or what happens when she is not spending time with her children. The living condition was so bad that she would move place to place to find a better home or to find a better life. With rent being raised everywhere people with low minimum wages cannot afford a home to live in. Chapter 3 stated that during 2000-2012 rent rose up to 6 percent and if a tenant missed a rent bill they would receive a “soft eviction”. That is when the landlord would remove the door of the tenant’s apartment or cut off the power. This proves that living in poverty could change a person life for the worst.


Darin Florence is studying Abnormal Psychology.

Through this workshop, the illumination of the depth of poverty, to the tune of producing what we now call “The $2.00 a Day Poor,” currently growing in its divisiveness from a “thriving class of people.” This of course being measured in broadest of framework by Darin Florencewhich a thriving class of people can be quantified, the psychology of poverty can know no bounds, nor can its dehumanizing capabilities. The ability of a class of people who have no skin in the game to criminalize the victim is frightening in that the drastic and often dangerous tactics which the $2.00 a day families must adopt as a way of life is sure to foster other actions which are in fact criminal in the traumatic effects on their children as well themselves.

The temerity of those experiencing financial proficiency to blame the poor for being poor and creating barriers to distributing the wealth of resources so that the supply meets the need, and allows resources elevate the level of the needy. This is a despicable display of gross negligence and apathy on the part of what is reportedly the Richest and most powerful nation in ever in existence.


 Raziyah Rodriguez 

As a Single Mother of two girls , a college student and a welfare receipent I am please to IMG_0842know this issue is being addressed. It is extremely alarming in the midst of trying to be heard and helped the struggle still remains. What has become of our economy ? What are the limits we must face to finally see the grass is always greener.  I enjoyed the talk on her book and the process of the research that was conducted to realize society is being oppressed. I am deeply fond and admire the work and time put into this project. It is sad to know as poor as we may think we are , their is always another family who has it worse. What I mean as worse is less and much more worries as problems arise in top of problems in situations of poverty.  May we all hope for change , and may we all put in work to make the change . With team work , great minds and clean hearts , America shall prosper. Amen




Cesarina Tapia

My opinion,  2-a-Day poverty book impacted me in different ways. For example, how can a powerful and resourceful country have such high number of poverty and nothing is being done to lower the poverty epidemic. Why is the government not doing anything to stop poverty. I think the community needs to be aware and to be educated about whats happening in our society and come up with a solution to fix the problem.


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Sabrina Mendoza

As I read Chapter 3 of the book $2 a Day it gave a different perspective of what it’s like to be poor in America. The American media tends to make poverty appear as a choice rather than something that is passed down due to certain circumstance that families may face in the country. When in reality the American system is what hinders certain individuals from prospering and achieving the “American Dream”. In order for everyone in this country to be able to get a fair chance in achieving the “American Dream” the system must change. Those Americans who are apart of the 1% or apart of the middle class should empathize with poor and be apart of the solution not against them.


Fatoumata Millogo is taking Introduction to Psychology.

When I read this book’s chapter, It seems like the author is telling my story instead of telling Jennifer’s family labor experiences in Chicago southwest side. This book should draw the Government attention to the application of minimum wage and the increase of poverty in United States Why the Government instead of giving SNAP to families with low income doesn’t increase the minimum wage and send police officer in work sites to check if owners are applying it? It seems stupid for me to help low income families just with food instead of helping them to be dependant.

I used to work an African braiding shop where the owner paid me $200 a week and I worked from 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday. I didn’t get pay for sick days, I didn’t have vacations. I worked just to pay my bills. I quit the job and decided to stay home with my son instead of working and not getting the money I was expected to get.

The department of labor services should control all the services, small business etc to see if they are paying right their employees in order to decrease the number of unemployed. SNAP is one of a way to help but not poor people but it is not the Good way.


Leslie Espino

My thoughts of the chapter 3 on poverty in the USA $2 a Day is conflicting because on Leslie Epinoone hand these people have the means to rise out of their situations. Although at the same time I feel as if the system intentionally tries to place some of us in situations comparable to Jennifer or Rae. Unjust situations that ultimately force us into uncomfortable positions, which in turn leaves us potentially vulnerable to unspeakable horrors like the tragic events that occurred in Jennifer’s life. Im also concerned about people in Rae’s position or similar to it, who have a good chance of being eligible for government assistance but are too prideful to seize the opportunity.


Cleritude Dorleans

I found chapter three to be very interesting. I am aware that there are poor people living in all states of the United States, however; I did not know that it was this bad. In chapter three of this book a woman named Jennifer and her children were really going through tough times. She was working trying to provide shelter for her children and herself. Working trying to make ends meet just wasn’t enough for her or her family. She had to IMG_20170427_190258_159move from place to place in different apartments because the rent was too expensive for her to afford. It is hard for low-income families to afford an apartment. According to the text in chapter three the cost of an apartment would be more than 30% of one income, that is why a lot of people are struggling to keep their homes. According to the text if one would miss payments on their rent the landlord would do some repulsive things, so the person can leave the apartment on their own. When people are in situations like this one tends to get stressed out. I can relate to this reading because a few years go my family and I were living in a three-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn for about $800 and change. We were a family of 8 at the time and my dad was the only source of income. We were evicted twice and a year later our apartment was mysteriously on fire (we were not home) so we had to live in a shelter for about three years. During that time, we were really stressed out, we lost most of our belongings. That is why I can relate to this book.



Juliana Uzozie: “I was deeply touched by your book,after reading the part where Michelle told Juana and Angel that  she has not eaten for four days, and how the family lost their source of income  which made them live in the basement of their family friend, and the land lord discovered he has to throw them out.Honestly no child is suppose to go through that situation because it is traumatizing. That is why we need to be our  brother keeper.

Clara Castillo-Santana:  “In my opinion this chapter made know what is so important for poor people to have help from their friends families or even thought programs like the one doctor fulani’s created a way that wealthy people can communicate with poor kids and people to help all black and Latino to fight against the poorness.”

Kirk Reynolds:

My name is Kirk Reynolds a student from Bronx Community College. Poverty is simply
the state of being extremely poor. Poverty to me is more often than not passed down by
generation. In other words if you grow up in poverty it is a greater chance of the generation staying the same rather than being successful. Statics make it clear that kids always seem to follow what they see. Not saying that if you grow up in poverty it’s impossible to be successful.  That’s when things like identity projects come into place. Identity project is basically inspiration and or something to be passionate about. A well known example of an identity project is sports. However life can be a lot easier if everybody was promised a strong family support. Family is a huge role in children’s lives. I mean family is all kids know until they go out on they own. A key to raising a child is to help them feel confident and to help develop a sense of passion and
purpose. It’s the education that happens before we send them off to school which is crucial in bringing up a child. Without this idea of a strong family support it can very detrimental for kids lives. Which then leads to extreme poverty in the USA. Furthermore without a family support children are more at risk for smoking, drug abuse as adults, as well as engaging in high-risk sexual behavior. Which we all know are not behaviors followed by people with success. For instance in the article it says “the ACE study and more recent follow-up studies offer evidence that the experience of abuse, neglect and other adverse circumstances in childhood is disturbingly common in the American population as a whole. Yet as shocking as these ACE study findings are poor children are greater risk for such an experience (Edin 79).” In my opinion poverty can be stopped but it’s going to take an nation effort. In conclusion poverty is A generational thing, if we can give each and every child a stable successful family. Lots will be more successful to which we all will have the money to have stable apartments and lower the risks of smoking and drug abuse.


Please Join the Politics for the People Conference Call

With Kathyrn Edin

We will be discussing:

$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America


Sunday, December 3rd at 7 pm EST

Call In and Join the Conversation

641-715-3605 and passcode 767775#

Founder of the Politics for the People free educational series and book club for independent voters. Chair of the New York County Independence Party.

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