I grew up on Chicago’s South Side without a father, like many youths of inner city families. Fortunately, my grandparents and mother instilled in me good morals. I am glad I stayed in school because this helped mold and guide me into what I could and should be doing today. After graduating high school, I should have gone straight to college but I chose the street life. The street life led me to being shot four times and ultimately put me in a wheelchair. I stayed at the Northwestern hospital for about two weeks and the doctor told me I would never be able to walk again. After the two weeks, I was transferred to Cook County hospital where I stayed for about a month. After the hospital, I was transferred to the Cook County Jail for two and a half years. From the Cook County jail, I was sent to the Dixon Correctional Facility and finished the remainder of my 10 year prison sentence.
In October 1999, I was released from the Dixon Correctional Facility. I knew I had to do something with my life for I did not want my life to go to waste. The summer of 2000, I enrolled at the Olive-Harvey City College. While educating myself, it opened my mind and eyes to many ideas. From these ideas, I held part-time jobs as well as teaching and adapting myself and my body to society. I felt I was on the road to being a success. In 2004, I start writing my autobiography, Everyone has a story…This is mine. The book was finished in the summer of 2007 and I self published the book in January 2008.
My voice is one that needs to be heard amongst the youth, our communities and in schools in Chicago and beyond. I want everyone to know that you can make it and you can be successful. I believe I can and I will!
I am very passionate about life and educating others through my experiences and knowledge. I did not always feel like this. I was once passionate about money, cars, clothes, jewelry and the street life. Today, I am living more responsible and on the road to success. I have learned many things in my life before my injury but even more after my injury. My age is a constant reminder of where I need to be in my life. Life is so precious to me and it should be to everyone as well.
I want people to see everything from my view for a moment, wheelchair mind set, wheelchair eating, laughing, and being sociable. The way my day begins, the way I put on my pants, shirt, socks and shoes. I just want everyone to accept everyone and not worry about the money or being materialistic. I want people to accept everyone for who they are because everyone’s human. I learned never to prejudge anyone for you never know when you may need someone’s help.
I enjoy reading, attending cultural social events and communicating with the people in the community to inspire, uplift, motivate, and putting hope back into the youth.