Jose enrolled in YouthBuild when he was almost 24 years old.
Before YouthBuild I considered myself, like, a degenerate. I was trying to get off drugs. I had a pill problem; I was trying to get off pills for so long. I remember I just needed to do something because I was feeling stuck in life.
When I think back to 2019, I can’t believe I thought twice about calling YouthBuild. I was working at a radio station and a guest talked on-air about YouthBuild. Then she gave me her card and talked with me one-on-one after the show and told me I should check it out. I should have told myself not to be stupid and to call right now. That I was going to be OK. I needed an excuse from myself just to TRY. Yeah, to try something else. I’m so glad I checked it out.
YouthBuild was an escape. It was a way to get away from where I was. Going there day after day, being committed just kept making more sense. It was good for me: mental toughness, being accountable for myself, being transparent with myself. It was everything I needed at the time to get myself right. To get my head space right and change my mentality.
I’m most proud of being off the drugs. I barely even drink now. I thought I would never get there. I want to say that it was easy, but it wasn’t easy. But I was able to do it.
YouthBuild helped me get into college. I didn’t see that coming at all. I did not know that was going to be an outcome. I thought YouthBuild was just going to help me sharpen my construction skills and then slowly I realized that I hate construction. YouthBuild had more to offer someone like me.
Now, I have an associate degree in Multimedia Communications from College of Lake County. I got accepted into DePaul. I got a job. I’m way more in tune with myself, like what I want. Things are much clearer for my life. I feel better about myself. This year, my friends and I started a media agency. We want to help other companies with their social media, their music production, and their online presence, basically building their brand.
YouthBuild was like a catalyst to the direction of my life. That’s how important it was for my growth, my evolution as a person. I owe everything to YouthBuild.
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