When I was a little guy living in a little town called El Monte in the big state of California, there were a lot of big things that haunted the lives of kids just like me. I lived in a bad area full of drugs and drinking and gang activity. My mother, I know, feared not just for my safety, but for my future. “What will he become?” she must have thought when the options available to me and boys like me were so few and and our roads so narrow.
Many of the boys I knew then ended up following the paths that seemed destined to swallow them anyway. Dropout, give in to the drugs, the gangs, the welfare system.
There were many things that I stumbled upon during this period of my life that served as life preservers. I found reading, which helped me to excel in school. I found music, which gave me an outlet for the raw energy and emotion that sometimes cripples adolescents. I also found the Boys and Girls club, and this gave me a safe place to hide when the dark forces around me came calling. I am thankful for its presence in my neighborhood, and thankful for the learning opportunities that it provided me at that time. The Boys and Girls Club helps so many kids today who are just like I was then. It is nice to see that they are still here, and the mission is still in motion to make the lives of kids better. So, when I was asked to volunteer in the Chocolate Fantasy Charity event, it was an honor to be able to give back just a little. They are an organization that I believe in and stand behind fully.
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