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         Growing up in the inner city of Pittsburgh without any limits placed on me I had to grow up fast. Not having anyone watching over me but having people to take care of made me feel like a full-time adult at the age of eleven. Being placed in a difficult situation where neither of my parents were found fit to care for none of my siblings; I had to mature and learn how to advocate for myself in order to survive the system.

         Transitioning from my original family plan into a kinship plan with my older brother was the best plan for me at the time. This is because my parents put their relationship before their children and separated. My mom would either be gone or my dad would be missing; neither actually home at the same time or at all. Going through situations like this, is the reason why Child Youth and Services got involved in my family situation.

          Living with my older brother, I would say was the hardest part of my foster care experience. I say this because the house we lived in was a three bedroom house with four adults and five children. Therefore, personal space became an issue that cost a lot of unnecessary fights. Going through my teenage years I really did not have anyone in my family buying me things so I would steal anything that I wanted. This grew into a bad habit which lost me a lot of friends and got me in a lot of trouble. However, the lesson I learned from doing immature things like stealing and lying made me realize I would not be able to move ahead in life.

        I realized the fault to some of my problems was the people I surrounded myself around and I wanted to change that. Therefore, I started playing sports more and got involved in my community’s churches outreach program. Being introduced to the word helped shaped my core morals and ethics. This helped shine light to my path and figure out the type of person I wanted to be in life.

        Transitioning from my old ways of lying and stealing to becoming an honest young man I had to learn how to deal with my past. People that knew me judge me from my past and overcoming that obstacle is something I still work on until this day. Not being able to do certain things because of lack trust made me felt like I was a kid again. Being as truthful as I can is something I work on until this day. However, I always find it hard not to lie about little things like someone's cooking:)

Jul 1, 2016 By John LeGrande