Student Stories



A lot of people say having a strong man around is important to boys growing up. Prince Green knows it’s true. He respected his mom, but he ran all over her and she let him get away with a lot. All Prince remembers about his dad is that he sold drugs and was in and out of jail as far back as he can remember. Seventh grade was the worst. His dad was sentenced to sixty years for attempted murder. Prince recalls, “I cried when I went to see him.” From then on, Prince was left with nothing but a memory of his dad behind bars. He said, “I didn’t realize it then, but when dad lost his way, I lost mine.”

It was then that things started to fall apart. He flunked his classes, so he was kicked off the basketball team. Getting kicked off the team was worse than failing all his classes. Prince’s only escape was getting blitzed and chillin’ with the gang. Although his mom helped him improve his academics in eighth grade, the fix was temporary. He kept on pushing the limits like when he refused to cut his hair, knowing it would mean he couldn’t play basketball. Without tough love at home or basketball to keep him busy after school, Prince was drawn back to the gangbangers. He actually belonged to two gangs then.

Freshman year of high school, Prince missed one hundred nineteen days of school. At the same time, in a freak accident his mom became legally blind. Her career as a registered nurse was over and she just lost track of Prince. After getting kicked out of school for possession and gang fighting, he was forced to attend a new high school. “Mom was devastated. My brother had just been sentenced to life for murder and here I was headed in the same direction,” he confided. Prince kept skipping school until his advisor told him he was out again. The only thing he did to help was suggest Prince go to Fort Worth Can Academy.

At first, nothing changed at Fort Worth Can Academy. Prince got into arguments with the teachers, but they kept trying to get through to him. Then he found out they had a basketball team and even better, he could play with long hair. There was one condition, Prince had to keep his grades up. The pivotal point in his turnaround was when his mom died. It was Christmas break and everything was so sudden. Prince reflected, “I always wanted to make mom proud. She died thinking I was no better than my brother. That thought made me want to prove I deserved her love and support.”

Prince credits Fort Worth Can Academy with helping him finally graduate. He said the teachers and advisors wouldn’t let up on him until he got his diploma. They also helped him deal with losing his mom. After graduation he’s going to college and will major in kinesiology. His passion is basketball. He said, “If I have to cut off my hair in college to play, I will. Eventually, I want to coach because I love kids. Maybe I can be a positive role model for kids who are missing that in their lives.”


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