By age 15 I was constantly in trouble and was considered both a “hoodlum” and a troublemaker in my local community. Running wild, I did not take my education seriously, and ended up moving from one school to another. Eventually my misbehavior caught up to me and I ended up in a courtroom. The judge wisely recommended AMIkids to introduce me to a new way of thinking and how to better deal with life’s situations.
I was reluctant at first but the program grew on me. I was meeting upbeat people who didn’t judge me but believed in my greatest potential. I quickly learned that anger and rebellion was not the way to deal with everyday negative circumstances. AMIkids taught me to use my brain and apply my knowledge; that was the correct way to succeed. My self-esteem improved as I made new friends who helped keep me on a positive path. I respected them and I respected myself more as time went along.
Today, I am a proud member of the AMIkids alumni family. Instead of always being on the wrong side, I now do what I can helping other kids who have the same struggles in school and life I encountered. I am married and raising three boys of my own who often enjoy coming to work with me to learn safety, responsibility, and to stay out of trouble. I work full time maintaining the AMIkids Boat Program boatyard and continue to use the skills and values I obtained there to be the best that I can be personally and professionally. I am so proud I had the opportunity to experience the AMIkids program. Through the AMIkids Alumni Association, I hope to continue inspiring kids with a troubled past to embrace and experience the positive choices in life.
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