My grandfather and my grandmother raised me as if I were their son. I lived with them since I was born. My grandfather taught me a lot about cars and how to do well in school. He showed me how to respect women. My grandmother was my heart. I always talked to her about everything – life, my parents, her life experiences. She was the only one I could go to and talk about the good and bad things that were going on in my life. As I got older, my grandmother got sick. My twin sisters and I took care of her.
Last year, after my grandmother passed away, I felt as though I didn’t have anybody to talk to. I didn’t have anybody to go see. I felt angry at my uncles and aunts for not being there for my grandmother when she was sick and not helping us take care of her. Nothing in my life meant anything to me after her death. I just did what I wanted to do. I wasn’t making good choices. I was getting in trouble. I was trying to get my mind off everything. I was out in the streets all day. I hardly ever went in the house and I never called anybody. If I did go inside, I was bored. I thought a lot about my grandmother.
When I got locked up, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I spent a month in Baltimore City Detention Center before they released me. My case was nolle prosed, that means that the state decided to not move forward with my case. It was my first time being locked up. I didn’t know what to do. Locking a youth up in adult jail in my depressed situation is not a good solution. When you lock a child up it is on their mind and heart for the rest of their lives. I saw youth get bullied and beat up, especially if it is their first time in adult jail.
I had to deal with my depression on my own. I’m proud to be in the state of mind I’m in now. I know my grandmother would be proud. I am going to graduate from Antioch Diploma Plus in June. I plan to start a career as a mechanic. Two of my goals are to get my truck driving license and to go to college. I want to reach a point where I can take care of myself and my sisters.