Throughout most of my childhood, I was happy and my life seemed normal. By 12 I became aware of my parents’ drug use and their increased fighting. It was difficult to learn the police were called because they were fighting while my mother was pregnant with me and my father was arrested and nearly killed after threatening police with a loaded AK47.
While my parents continued to abuse drugs, I started to get in trouble. My dad would give me drugs and alcohol and beat me the following morning for stealing his drugs because he didn’t remember he gave them to me. My mother would hallucinate from her escalating drug use and often passed out, wrecked the car, and acted erratically.
I become increasingly angry at my family life, and the drug use made the whole situation even worse. This anger and its consequences resulted in a referral to AMIkids. Expecting big, locked gates and barb wire, I was scared and nervous. After arriving at the program, it had open space and looked more like a summer camp. While meeting with my case worker and advisor, I realized they really wanted to help me succeed in school and in life. I met often with my advisor and he helped me with all my issues while I was there. He will always remain an important person in my life. We put together a list of goals and a plan to achieve them. I earned my GED and enrolled in junior college as the first step to a four year degree. I also acquired healthcare vocational training and hope to pursue a career in this field, possibly even in veterinary care, as I love animals. Now that I am attending college and continuing my training in healthcare, my view on life has changed. I no longer take things for granted and I am not going to let AMIkids down since they invested in my potential. I am living in a new, positive environment. I will enjoy the opportunities in front of me and never look back.
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