As a senior at Maya, I thought it was going to be hard for me to finish out my last year. I really didn’t want to come here, but something told me that Maya Angelou was a great school for me, and it became true. Coming from New Beginnings, I was kinda lost in the world. I was thinking more like a criminal because I was getting used to being incarcerated. But thanks to my grandfather, grandmother, and of course Maya, I was able to do better. The basketball team at Maya also encouraged me to really think about college and motivated me to do better.
When I was in the 9th grade, I was getting suspended every week for fighting or shooting dice. Throughout my first year, I was always trying to be with the wrong crowd. At one point, my grandfather was talking about putting me out, and I didn’t know how to react. During my sophomore year, I was getting better. I played with the varsity basketball team, and it was a great experience. But by the time summer came and basketball season was over, I was getting so used to the streets, and I wanted to play a bigger role. As a result, I was locked up for the rest of that summer, and the year following.
That was the wake-up call I needed. I knew if I continued to live like this when I came home, I would have no purpose. So while I was locked up, I met a Muslim brother who I came to respect. That lead me to convert, and I felt like a whole different person. When I was prayed, I felt like Allah was guiding me home. Now I feel very good about myself and my future! My time at Maya was a great experience, and I’m glad they accepted me. [I] Love you, Maya Angelou!
Over the past four years, I have grown tremendously. Since I have been attending Maya Angelou, I have learned a lot of things. Of course, I learned the basics like reading, writing and math, but I also learned life skills. I matured, and I see a lot of things differently now. I learned how to change my attitude to become a better me. In the beginning, I didn’t care about anything, but I would still do my work even though I had a bad temper at times. Being at Maya taught me slowly how to grow and get over difficulties in my life. In high school, I enjoyed being in the Residential Program with Maya Angelou, and I also enjoyed the opportunities that Maya gave me. I never thought I would meet some of the great people I got to meet. Another program I enjoyed was the BUILD Program because it gave me the chance to run my own business and work with people on a team. From the BUILD program, I learned that many unexpected changes can happen, and you have to keep moving forward to accomplish your goals. One lesson I can say that I learned while in high school has been that the only person who can stop you is yourself. For me, that mean that my attitude is one thing that can be a distraction in my life. Another big lesson I have learned is that you can’t let everything get to you. Never let little things get you upset. You should worry about more important things because that’s what matters most. I know that I am prepared to move on because I have the skills I need, a great support team at Maya Angelou, and a striving attitude to succeed.