If you passed me on the street, you would probably assume that I’m just another street kid, headed towards a life of fast women, fast cars and an early death.

However, I am the perfect example of why you should never judge a book by it’s cover.

I dress casually but put together. My kicks are always clean, a sign that says “watch out, world, I’m stomping through.” Also, let it be known that thanks to a love a cologne, you can smell me before you see me.

Stop and have a conversation with me. Once you do this, it’ll become apparent that this guy is going very far in life but you also have to wonder…with a brain like that, what led me to the moment?

Two years ago, an internet romance brought me to Georgia and started a cycle of homelessness.

It fell apart with that girl.

I admit I have a problem with chasing girls. I’d get a good paying job and find another girl and then the cycle would begin again. Sometimes the cycle would lead me to jail.

After my fifth stint in county lockup, I finally decided that enough was enough.

I see myself as a average black man, just trying to get by.

People tell me I’m so much more.

Honestly, I don;t know that I believe them.

I’m working full-time and in school. I’ve managed to get a high school diploma and am working towards a college degree. There’s no stopping me now.

My driving force?

I have plans to go back to my family – partially to say, “Hey, I made it!” The other reason is much more simplistic and rooted in human nature.

Home is where the heart is and your heart is your family.

With the time I spent on the street, I saw things that you wouldn’t believe. That shelter that they say is the worst? That aren’t kidding. I saw things that no human should see.

Because of this, I would run into people time and again, making the same bad decisions and it drove me crazy.

To youth newly in my situation, I want to be clear:

You have a choice – You don’t have to play with the cards you were dealt.

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