‘I Never Want to Be in a Neighborhood Where I’m Shot at Again’
When Mario Martinez went to Liberty University, a private Christian college in Lynchburg, Virginia, the affluence astonished him. A student’s car would break down and she’d have a new one within a couple of weeks. “It was mind blowing,” he said. “To see that people can have so much.”
And Liberty — with a median family income of about $75,000 a year — isn’t even that rich compared to what you will find at America’s most prestigious private colleges, where incomes are closer to $200,000 a year or more.
But Liberty is a long way from what Mario knew. He grew up in a poor neighborhood in Langley Park, Maryland. “We would hear police every night, we’d hear gunshots, we’d hear people scream,” he said.