A message from Gabriel, a veteran of our No More Victims program for children of incarcerated parents.
I grew up where the drugs, guns and money changed hands
By the time I was six I was already good a math. Adding. Subtracting. Multiplying and dividing. That’s because I had spent so much time watching relatives cut drugs into saleable amounts. Ounces. Dime bags. Grams. I knew the price and the profit margin for each one. I grew up in the house where the drugs were sold, the money changed hand and the guns were hidden.
Then one day my uncle was shot. I saw him in the hospital breathing through a ventilator attached to his neck. When he recovered, he said, “don’t take the path I took.” I knew I needed to change, but by then I had already sunk into a deep depression and stopped caring what happened to me.
No More Victims gave me a new life
Then I found the No More Victims program in high school. It wasn’t like any class I’d ever been in. I found other kids who had been through some of the same things I was going through. We could trust each other. We could open up about problems we didn’t feel safe telling anyone else. Eventually I realized that what I went through as a kid didn’t define me and or my future. My father, my uncle, my brother and my cousins had all been incarcerated, but that didn’t mean I had to follow in their footsteps.
I beat the odds. I graduated from high school and I work a job. When I get together with my relatives, they joke that I’m the one that got away because I’m living a clean life. I’m proud of who I am and proud to be a part of the No More Victims family.
The No More Victims program has been helping kids like Gabriel for 25 years. Children of incarcerated parents are at high risk of suicide, dropping out, and being incarcerated as adults. Yet, nearly every teen who goes through our program graduates from high school and almost no one winds up in prison. They become outstanding young men and women.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
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