This Thanksgiving, we all have a lot to be thankful for. YouthBuild Participant Brandon writes about how Goodwill is helping to change his life.
My name is Brandon. I was born May 27, 1991 and I am the oldest of three children. I have two younger brothers, ages 19 and nine.
I consider myself to be very vibrant and outgoing, but sometimes it can get the best of me.
Throughout my school years I was always very talkative and at times the class clown. I can’t say that worked out well for me. I didn’t get into trouble as much in elementary and middle school as I did in high school.
My high school years got the best of me and at times I sit back and wish I could go back and do things a lot differently. My freshman and sophomore years were the best years of my life! I did everything I was supposed to do and more. I made sure I stayed on top of all my homework and grades.
As years progressed I started hanging out with the wrong group of people. The people I was hanging with did not have my best interest in mind. They saw me as someone who was a little more fortunate and wanted to see what they could get out of me. Being the nice, gullible person I used to be, they pulled the wool over my eyes. I was the only one of all my close friends to have a car in high school.
I made it all the way to my senior year, second semester, forty-two credits, and I just got too wrapped up in my out-of-school life that I stopped going to school.
That was the biggest mistake I could have ever made. To this day, I regret dropping out. I let myself down and my family.
The person I upset the most and I hurt everyday about is my mother. I messed around so much in school all she wanted to do was see her oldest son graduate.
Unfortunately, she passed away of a heart attack before I could make it happen. I was supposed to graduate four years ago, and I still haven’t.
After the death of my mother I really got on the wrong path, I started drinking and partying and I guess it’s safe to say I was focused on the wrong things. I did get a job and I got my very first apartment for me and my younger brothers where we have lived for the last four years.
Even though I got a little wild I kept a roof over our heads and I did what needed to be done at that time.
I don’t regret anything in my past for it has made me who I am today. I like to say “success is at your own rate.” After everything I’ve been through, I can say, I am ready to buckle down and get it together. Joining YouthBuild was a great decision.
I look forward to taking advantage of everything this program has to offer. I know that this is my time and nothing or no one can distract me. I have to do what’s best for me and my brothers.
It really saddens me that my younger brother walked the stage before me, but I was proud. He is currently in college out of state on a full ride scholarship. I am so proud of him, and I know my mother is too.
I believe my mom is very proud of what we’ve grown to be and I know she’s happy to see me back in school. It feels great to do something positive. My life couldn’t be any better right now I’m looking forward to my future knowing it’s going to be bright.
My mother always said, “Only the strong survive.” Thank you to everyone who makes this program possible.