This past Thursday, there was someone fighting with a gun [at my school in the Bronx]. That same day, the high school in my neighborhood had to go on lockdown because someone was threatening to shoot the school. Most of the security guards were surrounding him, and they told me that they had tasers out when he was ready to come. I was just really scared. I don’t know why but whenever I’m nervous, I smile, and make some kind of joke to cheer me up. I don’t like talking about my feelings. I don’t really have good friends at school and there’s this guy who keeps doing stupid stuff every single day.


[But] I’ve been coming to A House on Beekman ever since I was four years old [and I’ve been able to make friends here]. My friend Jalice, [then] there is Skyla, and Dwayne. They have always been good friends to me and even if I did bad things, they never judged me. Last year, [at A House on Beekman] we talked about what happens if something bad happens and we went over the steps [of what to do]. We used to do that every Thursday and Monday. I used to cry when [the day was over] and I had to leave A House on Beekman.


Every day we focus on a specific topic. They’ve taught me how to read and write, and I like drawing and coloring with stuff here. I don’t really have a favorite teacher, but I like all of them equally. Most of the time I’m eating a lot and they’re okay with me getting an extra snack during a lesson. Last year we made homemade pancakes and got to put a lot of toppings on them. I haven’t really thought about what I want to be when I’m older, but it’s been pretty cool [that I’ve gotten to grow up here the last seven years].