Closing Letter

Ash Rupp


To the current and prospective residents of the Phoenix Metro Area:


 If you have, in the past, hesitated exploring the South Phoenix area, be not afraid!  After taking Dr. Koptiuch’s intensive ten week course that forced us to examine the community of South Phoenix, I can tell you that there is no reason to fear this area.  There are certain places that remain unsafe, but like any other place, once you know this; you are free to enjoy the community. 

After taking this course and visiting the South Phoenix area on my own time, I have grown to really appreciate the area.  At first I saw these areas as ‘eye sores.’  After I began to talk to residents of the community it became clear that they were not ‘eye sores’, they were just a different type of beauty not commonly seen in the Scottsdale area.  The graffiti and murals I had always before seen as defacement of property became objects of great beauty and an insight into what the residents of the community find important.

Everyone who took this class found beauty and importance in different areas of South Phoenix.  Some of the students were fascinated with the new home construction in the area and the impact it is having on the current residents.  Other students found their interest gravitating towards the racial tensions that exist in the community.  I found that I was most interested in the youth of South Phoenix.

While I enjoyed everyone of the guest speaker that came to talk with our class, my favorite and most insightful portion of the class was the group project that some of my classmates participated in.  We interviewed a class of teenagers who attended a high school in South Phoenix.  Until that point I really didn’t understand the love that these kids had for their community.  This is their home.  Not only do they enjoy living in this area, many of the students intend to continue to reside in South Phoenix and raise their future families.  This experience taught me the most about South Phoenix.  I learned that like any area, it has its good and bad sections, but it is also home to a community that loves to live there.