Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but raised in the community of Stop Six, my family and I learned a lot about the pride and unity within the community.

After graduating high school, I joined the U.S. Air Force, where I further learned the meaning of leadership and being a part of a team for our country and fellow men.

Once out of the Air Force, I moved to the West Side of Fort Worth where the Las Vegas Trail has been frowned upon by many due to past experiences. 

As time passed, I came to realize how important this community was not only for me, but also to the residents within it. The mothers who work hard to keep their children safe. The fathers who keep food on the table. The children on their journey back and forth to schools, sporting events and community centers daily. My son currently goes to school in the Las Vegas Trail area.

Recently, I’ve met men and women who have committed their time and works, which God blessed them to do, for the community. I even met my wonderful wife here who’s also working on a nonprofit project called B.A.B.Y. (Be A Better You). 

The organization’s goal is to help our youth and struggling mothers with teenage sons. She writes motivational poetry and provides resources. Her goal is to establish child care for the mothers unable to afford it. 

With places like LVTRise, Western Hills High School along with the residents of this thriving community, I see greater experiences in store for the West Side of Fort Worth.

With that being said, may God continue to enlarge, inspire and improve this community. Let’s show everyone leadership, conglomerations and love that this community displays.

Let’s show our “Pride for the West Side!”

LaShaw Specks is a resident of the Las Vegas Trail area. His wife, Amaga, is a leasing agent for a nearby apartment complex. To tell the story of where you live, please send your essay to and Managing Editor Thomas Martinez at

Las Vegas Trail

Total population: 11,729
Female: 43% | Male: 57%

0-9: 16%
10-19: 7%
20-29: 24%
30-39: 7%
40-49: 9%
50-59: 5%
60-69: 15%
70-79: 16%
80 and older: 1%

No degree: 16%
High school: 34%
Some college: 31%
Bachelor’s degree: 9%

White: 39% | Asian: 0% | Hispanic: 36% | Black: 23% | Two or more: 2%

Click on the link to view the schools’ Texas Education Agency ratings:

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Rachel BehrndtGovernment Accountability Reporter

Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report in collaboration with KERA. She is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri where she majored in Journalism and Political...