“I’ve been down here for a few years. I lived in the east end, I grew up in Sheppard Square. My family lives down here. It can be cool but rough at times. Some people don’t have a choice when it comes to being in the streets. That’s just what it has to be because that’s all they got. Like I said, one day can be cool and the next day can be all fucked up.
How do I deal with my struggle? I keep everything to myself. I don’t talk to anybody. When I got shit going on, I stay to myself. I just sit in the house and think about what I need to to do to make it another day. Shit don’t always work out how you want it to. Ya dig? I just hope for the best at all times. If I’m in a bad situation, I really don’t down myself because it’s going to make it even worse than what it is. I always try to keep my head high, no matter what.
My little brothers and sisters keep me motivated. My momma and granny are my world and they keep me motivated too. I just got out a few months ago; I did seven months in juvenile. I remember being on the phone with my little brothers and sisters, missing birthdays and all that. That made me want more for myself.
Doing that time opened my eyes to all the stupid shit I was doing. I was running the streets. I had to change. I realize what’s important and what’s not. I know what’s reality and what ain’t. I learned how to handle my business in a better way, instead of all that silly shit I was doing to get locked up. That was uncalled for because I chose to do some hothead stuff.
I want to own my business. Hopefully, that goes right when I get back in school. I have to go take my GED next week. I just passed my pre-test and I plan on going to to this junior college in Chicago. If I pass my test, I’ll be able to play football for them. School starts in August, so I’ll be out of here. I can get prepared and get everything on track.
Don’t give up and I don’t care what anyone tells you. You can do whatever you want as long as you put your mind to that shit. Oh, and don’t let anyone influence you into doing some shit that you don’t wanna do.
Live your life the way you want to and the best way that you can live it. It’s only right. Take it from somebody that’s been locked up and been from pillar to post. I ran the streets and all that. That’s not where it’s at, man. Stay in school and that’s for all the young cats. I got little brothers and sisters, so don’t think that because I’m out here, that I don’t have a heart. I love mine to death. I tell them every day to keep their head on a swivel. I used to get suspended all the time; that ain’t it. Don’t do it.” - Kelvonnie, Portland