Thursday, June 1, 2017

Humans of Downey - Carlos


"This story is about an incident during the summer between my junior and senior years of high school and how it changed the path I was headed down to a better path. I was an artist, I loved to draw, but I also loved to tag. I remember this day very well. It is a clear image in my memory. I was hanging around this day with a group of guys. They were a few years older than me and I thought I was cool to be with them. They decided to go tagging on the freeway. It was broad daylight. This was not the brightest of ideas. So we went to the 710 freeway where we knew of an entrance to get us in.

"When we were done and leaving, the cops were waiting for us. So, I thought, if I run to the riverbed I can get away. But instead, I fell in the water because of the moss under the water was so slippery. For a second I was under the water and the current was pretty strong. I got myself up, though, and continued across the riverbed to the other side. But the cops were waiting for me there. So they took all four of us to the Bell police station. I remember sitting there all soaked and smelly thinking, 'What am I doing here? I'm not this type of person.'

"In my senior year I met this teacher named Mr. Synop. It was his first year of teaching and he was the most inspirational teacher I have ever had. He would approach me after class and tell me that I had done a good job that day. There was another teacher, my art teacher, that kind of watched me grow up in high school. She had me as a freshman and now as a senior. So she saw how I had developed. I wasn't a bad student. I actually had straight As during my senior year.

"Mr. Synop would sit me down sometimes and tell me that I was a leader in the class. He said that if I tell the class to hush up and listen, they do it. He said I was an example for the others by always doing my homework. Also, I would help anyone that needed help in the class. That year turned me around. First, because of the recognition that I'm not going to waste my life in police stations. Second, because of the attention and encouragement that my English teacher and art teacher gave me. Now, I'm a better person for it."

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