“I’ve been in the West End for twenty-five years. My experience has been good and bad. As a teenager, everything was great. They don’t have anything down here for these 2000 babies. I was able to go to different camps and centers. I’m from Victory, it’s on 22nd & Grand. I gotta little Park Hill in me, too. That’s where my daddy’s from. I went off to college in Cincinnati and I’m back home.
Right now, I’m passionate about music and I want to go back to school to be a computer technician. What’s holding me back is that I’m a felon. I caught a case when I lost my son’s father. I went crazy. You know, people just grieve differently. I was in and out of jail and then I caught a serious case. So, when that happened, I was put on papers and I’m about to serve that out.
I paid all my debt off. It was money. It wasn’t street related, but money. That’s what happened. It’s not the downfall. I just have to work harder. You gotta go through things. I just want to be a great mother and be able to give my son the resources that he needs.
If you don’t love yourself, then who will? Always love yourself. That will keep you pushing. You’re not the only one. You can turn anything around. Anything is possible.” - Ieeshia, Parkland
“I’m trying to live to prosper. I don’t want a job, but a career. To be honest, I want to own my own business. I want to go to school and open my own nail shop. I just graduated in May with my GED. The only thing that’s holding me back is the school that I want to go to cost $4000. Once I get up on my feet, I’ll be thinking smarter, not harder. I’ll get there. I don’t want to work for anybody. With the way life is going, I have to but I don’t want to keep doing that. When I’m up on my feet, I’m going to stay up on my feet.
My dream and taking care of these kids keeps me going. I’m just living and thanking God for waking me up to see another day. You wake up and it’s a different day. So, what are you going to do that’s new that'll make you better for the next day?
I can overthink things and that’ll mess me up. So, I try to slowly plan out my goals and write it down. I have to visualize it. Write your goals down so you know it’s real. Even if say that you have to get brakes for your car on Friday, when you get paid, that’s a goal! So whatchu gon’ do?
The key to living your best life is to mind your business and take care of yourself. Don’t be selfish but take care of yourself. I’m the type of person that would help everyone out but I found that it didn’t get me anywhere. I gotta quit doing that because I’m forgetting about myself. I love myself too much to keep battling with that. To live your best life is to live your best life, not everybody else's. Stay prayed up, too. You gotta keep God first. He’s in order of your steps and your life.
If there’s someone that’s older than you, with some wisdom, listen to them! You don’t know everything. I’m about to be twenty-six in twenty-two days and I still don’t know what I think I know. Only a fool won’t listen. Open up your ears and listen.” - Roderica, Parkland