In His Own Words
“What makes a person become better than they once were? Is it the need to achieve something they are unable to obtain, or is it the need to escape a life they no longer want to live? The need for change might be different, depending on the person. But my need to become better is because I want to break the cycle. The idea of repeating history comes from many moments in my life that have motivated me to pursue a better life. One event was when I was kid and saw the man who was a father figure to me put in the back of a police car.
I was taken care of by various people because both my parents worked. I spent a lot of time with a family in South Central because the woman was a friend of my mother. She had five children, but they were much older than me. Her second son was fifteen when I was born. He was the man who taught me a lot in life. Not how to fight, but when to fight. How to show respect to someone I just met. He trained me and helped me to play soccer. This was a person I cared about, but I knew about the lifestyle he lived.
Though he wouldn’t tell me, I knew. That is why it wasn’t a shock when one day the police came and arrested him. This moment in my life is something I wish I could forget, but I can’t because this is when I told myself no matter how much I care about this person, I must make sure that I never end up like him.The days I spent in my first high school were all that I expected. I didn’t care about school.
I never paid attention in class or ditched. I had friends, but they were only friends for the moment. We were all trying to act like something we weren’t. Many dropped out of school to join a gang and earn the respect of their peers. I never saw the point in joining a gang. I would fight a lot which is why my mother took me out of public school and enrolled me in Learn4Life in Long Beach. My brother graduated from there several years ago. I care about my mom which is why I began to focus on school and think about my future beyond high school.
Now I’ve got ambitions of attending college, working and one day being able to buy myself a home. I attended a Pathways trip to New Orleans and participated in leadership activities at school. I have been accepted at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills, and I am excited about starting college and majoring in marketing. I am happy I decided to focus on my education at Learn4Life.”