Chris Platte


For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Chris and I was actually raised in Hawaii on the
island of Oahu. Growing up for the first fifteen years of my life there, I never realized just how
blessed I was. Being a young kid at the time I always took for granted the beaches and the
beautiful weather, but what I hadn’t realized was so amazing about living there was that the
crime rates were nearly nonexistent. I can’t really tell you what it was about Hawaii, but it just
always felt so safe and secure.
As the years rolled by, my family found themselves wanting to move to California. I was
fifteen around the time we moved and I was quite nervous to say the least. I was going to leave
behind all my friends and my safe island to create a whole new life in California. Upon arriving in
California I was filled with mixed emotions. I was happy and excited to begin my new life, yet
devastated that I had just left everything behind. We got a house and I was enrolled into RHP,
where I soon noticed it was quite smaller than I had at first thought. I didn’t mind the change at
first, but everything about California was the opposite of Hawaii. The ocean was freezing, the
roads are scarier, and the people are meaner.

So one day in September 2016, just 3 months after I moved to California, I was walking
down the street in Lomita to get picked up on the corner after seeing a friend when I thought I
noticed a car following closely behind me. Since it was 11 am in broad daylight, I didn’t think
anything of it and continued on my way. Then I noticed something strange. A woman walking
her dog was waving frantically at me trying to get my attention. I remember having my headsets
in but hearing someone’s feet on the pavement coming pounding up behind me. As I spun
around in confusion I came face to face with a man wearing a Freddy cougar mask. I was trying
to make sense of the situation when the man began punching me in my face and yelling at me
to give him my phone. I was in such shock I just handed it over. He took my phone with my
headsets still attached hopped back into a car with his accomplices and peeled out. I remember
feeling so helpless after the scenario because I couldn’t call anyone to help me. Fortunately, this
sweet couple afterwards offered to help.

This experience really opened my eyes to just how privileged I was to be able to live in
Hawaii and in palos verdes where it’s likely safe. I am so grateful that the experience actually
shaped me into a wiser individual and now I am more careful and aware of my surroundings
because of it. Looking back on it California was quite scary the first year I had moved but now
that I’ve figured it out I’m quite comfortable and happy and ready to graduate. Thank you.