This I Believe

Mitchell - West Allis, Wisconsin
Entered on November 15, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks

A Second Chance

A second chance is what I consider a break in life, but it comes with a lot of hard work and determination. I grew up with discipline. My mother is strict, but she believes that a person can change — can be forgiven. I knew that if I did something wrong there would be consequences; however, I believed that after doing wrong, I would get a second chance to do right. In December of 2005, I tested her beliefs and mine.

A so-called friend asked me to hold a bag of Marijuana in my locker, and I thoughtlessly said yes. I grew nervous as the day went on, but I knew there was money in it for me. Who would’ve thought that same day there would be a drug search at my school. The dogs immediately sniffed me out. Before I knew it, I was on the floor in handcuffs – like a hardcore criminal. It was shocking to my family, my friends, and the people I loved. And what hurt the most was seeing my mother’s sadness and disappointment in me. No one, especially me, thought that I would stoop this low. I lost all my family’s respect and trust.

For five days, I paced my room at the detention center. I prayed to God pleading for a second chance but felt he would just ignore me because of what I did. Monday morning came, and I was sent to the judge. He went over my case and issued me nine months probation, which included 20 hours of community service, monthly drug screenings, and of course, expulsion from the public school system. I was still grateful because anything was better than one more day in the detention center.

Even now, nine months later, I’m still going through this mess. Getting a part time job was hard for me so was finding a new school. I spent a month searching for a school that would accept someone who public schools considered a drug dealer. Thankfully, I found one. It’s called Kradwell, and I’ve been the best I can be at this school. I’ve gotten “A’s” and “B’s”, made the honor roll and have good rapport with my teachers. I did all my community service and have earned back most of my family’s trust and respect.

My story is proof that people can change no matter what situation faces them. It hasn’t been a walk in the park, but I’ve managed to get through it. Now that I’m doing better, I’ve shown my family, and the people I love, that I take myself seriously. Knowing they believe in me has given me motivation to keep moving on. I believe in second chances – where would I be without them?