“Being back here, I see that a lot has changed. There’s a lot of people trying to change the West End. There’s a lot of people that are marching up and down the streets, passing out flyers, trying to stop the violence. I think there’s doing good; they are really trying. It just takes the neighborhood to help them.
If I could change anything about myself, it would be me not having an education. I would’ve stayed in high school. I could’ve had me a better job - my education.
Being in the foster care that I was in played a huge part in me not finishing. The foster care I was in was racist. The school I was in didn’t care about me. I got into a lot of fights and got kicked out. I ended up going to Paducah because that’s where they sent me.
It was difficult, it still is difficult. Being the age that I am now, I still have a lot of problems with what happened back then. I’m still trying to solve those problems. Other than that, I think I turned out okay. I won’t say that I have regrets; I have wishes.
I definitely want to get my education but most of all I want to make sure that my daughter is aware of how the world is. I’m trying to prepare her for the world. She keeps me motivated. If it weren’t for her, I’d probably be in jail or prison. I want her to get her education, go for her goals, and to not let anybody tell her that she can’t. In my mind, there’s no such word as ‘can’t’. I don’t say that I can’t. Instead, I’ll say that I’ll try and that’s what I want to teach my daughter.
Man, stay in school and put the guns down. These streets are not what it’s all cracked up to be. Popularity is not where it is. All this social media, tv and all that got people thinking that they’ll be famous but they’re not. It does nothing but put a label on you.” - Ti-Ti, Shawnee