How old are you?
What was your first experience at the Center?
My first experience was studying the first level of Adult Basic Education. I got to know a lot of friends through this experience. It was both a fun and sad experience because I was scared to go to the Center sometimes, I was nervous about participating.
What do you currently do at the Center?
I help the guys. I help with security and maintenance, and I’m also in the painting class. The painting class is not easy, when I started, I couldn’t imagine getting involved, it’s a scary thing to put yourself out there, but if you say you can’t, you won’t be able to, and if you say you can, you can. The hardest thing about painting is painting faces. I’ve been painting for almost four years. I still remember my first painting, which I gave to my Adult Basic Education teacher, it was of a boy with a beautiful background of a tree with leaves in the fall, and around the tree were a bunch of kids. Painting has helped me economically because I sell my paintings and that’s helped me meet a lot of people.
Where do you live, and who lives at your house?
I live in Batahola Sur, and I live with my grandmother, two uncles, one aunt, and two cousins.
Who, of those that live at your house, work, and what do they do?
Only one of my uncles works. He works in a cosmetics store.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to go out, hang out with my friends, wash my clothes, iron, and go to the gym.
What is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is to be with my mom in the United States. She has lived in Miami for 14 years and I haven’t seen her since she left.
What is your biggest fear?
My biggest fear is walking into a haunted house!
Why is the Center important to you?
The Center is important to me because I like helping the guys, they help me too, and I’ve learned I don’t need to be too proud. I go to the Center to leave behind my sadness. Once you enter here, you lose your sadness. My sadness is that my house doesn’t have food, that I’ll have to go to bed without eating.