Student Stories



All my life I have had to overcome problems that I thought would never happen to me. I was born with asthma, and my little brother was born with Downs Syndrome.

We are both black males, poor, and grew up in a bad neighborhood; we were born into problems. To top it off, a problem that I am still trying to overcome is the hard fight my mother put up against cancer for ten years leading to her ultimate death. She died on May 17, 2009. It still affects me every day of my life.

That next year was one of the hardest years of my life. We were poorer than poor, living in Mason Manor trying to make it while my mama worked two jobs. She was then laid off because her employer felt she was supposed to enjoy her last days with her kids. No one could say the words “yo mama” without catching my fist in their teeth. That caused us to do a lot of moving. It seemed every school I went to there was always that one person who would always say it and make me mad.

By 8th grade my mom thought it would be a good idea to move us to Pflugerville. It was a rough year, but I barely made it through. That summer my mama spent a lot of time in and out the hospital with medical procedures. It was now the first day of school at Pflugerville High. I made it through, went to football practice and ended up fighting with this guy. Luckily, I wasn’t suspended. The next day at school his homeboy approached me and said, “Let me see you do me like that…!” I didn’t say anything. I just started throwing a flurry of punches until he hit the floor. Then the whole football team jumped me in the main hallway. I injured three guys, so they expelled me and from the school district. The school called my mother out of bed to come get me. This only frazzled her more.

I had to learn to control myself a little more. We ended up moving to some apartments. I transferred to another high school. The first year and a half there went alright, aside from the fact I was still slowly losing my mother. It was starting to be clearer that she would not be around for as long as I had thought. But I was going to school and taking care of business, the most important thing. Soon enough, the second semester of my sophomore year I was kicked out of high school for being an alleged gang member.

That brought me to Austin Can! for a little while. It helped me out at the time by attending the PM session. In the morning I would take care of my mom, go to school from 12 to 4 and go straight back home to take care of her some more. That gave us alot of time to make memories. I finished the school year at Austin Can! with no problem. The following school year I decided to go back to my home high school, worst idea of my life. One day I had noone to call because I had just checked my mom into Seton hospital for her chemotherapy. That was the day I was expelled from AISD for gang relation and failure to ID.

For two weeks I was out of school and in the hospital with my mother, watching her fade away slowly. Soon after she was shipped to San Antonio to a hospital specializing in cancer. She died in that hospital May 17, 2009. I made a promise to my mother that I would graduate and attend college so I could be rich and take care of her. I graduated from Austin Can! this past spring and kept my promise to my Mom, now I have to work on the second half of the promise.


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