My father walked out on our family on my first birthday. My mother being so young and unable to support and take care of me, forced me to live with my grandparents in Puerto Rico. Living in a bad neighborhood full of drugs, robberies and shooting, I got beat up every day walking back and forth to school.
When I was 16, my grandparents moved to Florida. School was tough but I learned English. Upon almost completing high school, my grandfather whose name is tattooed on my arm, passed away. He was my role model and taught me everything. I took it very hard and dropped out of school with only 3 and half credits to graduate.
I was kicked out of my home and spent 4 months living on the streets, under bridges, park benches and subways.
One of the benches I slept on was in The Batman movie.
I did small jobs to get by like power washing, cutting grass and painting. At first, I would borrow people’s tools and equipment then I began saving and could buy my own.
My father and I reconnected, as he was trying to reach me but after three days in Jersey City, I left. It felt strange living with him because he left us. That is when he dropped me off at Covenant House.
It was the best thing he ever did for me. I hit the ground running upon arriving, I got a job and moved into my own apartment and have been in the Rights Of Passage for the past 8 months. I work at Huntleigh Corporation at the Airport handling baggage.
I have been saving money, took my GED and came very close to passing. Once I do, I plan on going to an auto mechanic school and also get a degree in business. I have my driver’s license and am close to getting my own car. I could not have done any of this without the help of Covenant House.
Are you a youth in need of help?