Life has taught me so many things at a young age. I grew up with both parents in my home but my dad was in and out so it was difficult. When I was younger everything affected me differently, but as I become older my life has begun to mean more to me every day.

Growing up my mom and dad were always fighting. They never got along but stayed together because they had two lovely children they love so much and they knew it would hurt us to see them leave each other. In school, friends were a problem for me. Nobody got along with me. I did bad things to get attention like pulling pranks and being a class clown. My jokes didn’t work in a way I wanted them to and people started making fun of it and the clothes and shoes I wore every day. I wanted kids to acknowledge me and I started feeling alone, like nobody was there for me.

I felt like I didn’t belong in this world until I met my first friend. He made me feel complete and was someone who truly understood me. He taught me what being a real friend is. By the time I made it to high school everything changed . School was not for me and I was not interested in anything having to do with school.

The most influential person in my life is my mother. She is the most beautiful and strongest woman in the world. My mother is perfect and there is nothing I would change about her. I’ll do anything to see my mom smile with her big white teeth. When life gets hard she never gives up, no matter what the situation is. If anything, she works twice as hard and that’s what I love most about my mom. She loves her kids so much. Since my mom was younger she has always been tough. My mom has my back no matter what. She is the person I talk to when I’m feeling down or something is bothering me she truly understands me. Every day is a new lesson she has taught me. I don’t know what I would do without her by my side.

Decisions that changed my life were dropping out of school and doing drugs. Those were the worst choices I ever made. Life at the time was really hard for me. Just so many things were going on. My grandma died, which hit my family pretty hard. My grandma’s death hurt my family in all types of ways because my grandma was lovely and sweet. Her dying really made everyone depressed. Then having my mom and dad split up made everything twice as worse. I felt broken inside. A couple months later my mom had a heart attack and nearly died right in front of my eyes. I was shocked seeing her in a hospital bed with tubes in her mouth. It completely changed my life.

The greatest impact in my life was coming to Operation Fresh Start. I realized I can learn skills from this program and start my career. I wanted to attend OFS as soon as I heard about it. I got hooked right away. I don’t want to be in OFS just to get my diploma. I came to be a better person and to get help overcoming my past and to push myself to be somebody in life. This opportunity is everything to me and I am really looking forward to working with new people I can connect with. It’s my future and I love working hard and pushing myself to test my limits. Nothing can stop me when I put all I have into something.

I spend most of my free time gaming and hanging out with friends, family, and my girlfriend. We do a lot of outdoor activities. We mostly do swimming, hiking and rock climbing.

Goals for my future is to not struggle. I’ve come a long way from being homeless and having nothing to eat some days. Coming to OFS will help me with all goals in life, including learning more about construction. I love so much about it. I want to be able to fix stuff in my own home and also do my own projects. Then someday my kids will follow in my footsteps and I can tell them all about it. I want to be able to have enough money to take vacations with my family.

My life was bad growing up before joining OFS. I didn’t know what to do with my life and now I have a plan. Life can be tough but there’s opportunities to help you do better, like OFS.