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A lot of my lessons did not come easy, which is why I try to ensure the youth I come in contact with take a different route. It’s not always successful but sometimes it is.
Many times Azaria got discouraged about not being able to pass the TASC to receive her high school diploma. She failed the math section, and found it to be extremely hard, and refused to retake it. We talked together, we cried together, and then we started to get real about how important it was for her to achieve her diploma. She said she would consider retaking the math section. I went on vacation and while I was on vacation she received her results via email. She passed, she was going to receive her high school diploma because determination was what she had. I was ecstatic and could not wait to help her prepare for her graduation. Azaria, said she didn’t want to attend but I knew that was her being scared. I let her know she would not do this walk alone, I would be there every step of the way. I picked up her cap and gown, I got her tickets for her mother and sister to attend, I arranged for her to be driven to the graduation.
I wanted to make sure Azaria walked across that stage as her name was called to receive her diploma because that was the reward for her hard work and determination. Things went wrong leading up to the graduation and the morning of the graduation, but she made it and the smile on her face was all I needed to know she was happy about what she had achieved. Azaria did all of this as a young lady in a group home, who was at one point apart of the detention system. She now has her own place, a job, and working on getting into college to become a dermatologist.
Struggles are real, and they are hard and for Britney they were extremely hard. She was a young teenage mother, in a group home with her focus not always being on school. As a teenage mother myself I understood her push-back. Britney found ways to numb her pain, because that’s what she believed would get her through. I knew differently.
Britney wanted to win, I knew it because she was I and deep down inside I wanted to win, for my baby boy as she did for her young prince. However, there were many times when Britney just said no to me and others but I was not accepting her no. She would seem to be angry with me but I knew that was just her wall. I continued to push and no matter how much she said” F... this” I knew she wanted it because I wanted it but I was too afraid of failure or individuals calling me a failure and Britney had this same fear.
Britney achieved her diploma and attended her graduation with me by her side. It was a hurdle but she jumped over it and begin preparing for the next hurdle. She was accepted into BMCC in New York City, but sadly left. I am confident that Britney will get back on track because she wants her young prince to see greatness can come from concrete.
Young queens like Azaria and Britney deserve all the opportunities afforded to others, which is what Take Trips MES is offering. With the proper funding our organization can help Britney and Queens like her receive proper counseling to help deal with issues differently, and Azaria with tools to navigate getting into school to follow her dreams as she maintains her job, and apartment.
Take Trips MES, will work tirelessly to reduce the recidivism rate of incarcerated and detention youth of color once they are released from the system; to provide them with adequate aftercare services. Aftercare services are vital for youth of color transitioning back into their communities from the incarceration and detention system. Click the DONATE NOW button to help Take Trips MES facilitate the necessary aftercare work for our youth to heal their hurt!