For some young people, foster care can bring up bad memories. But for others, it was a beginning - a door to a new life.
My grandma named me after a main character in the movie Stranger Inside. My grandma said that the character was so sweet and had a beautiful name so I was named Treasure. To me, my name plays at big part in my life; it’s something I feel like I have to live up to.
Maybe I can write a book telling my story, about my childhood and how it turned me into the person I am today. I come from sort of a big family. My mom and dad had four kids; I'm the youngest one. When I was about nine years old, my mom and I were sitting in our kitchen. I remember her telling me about her first pregnancy being the only one she’d planned. She tells me that when she got pregnant the fourth time she didn’t want another child, so she scheduled an abortion, but when she got to the clinic it was closed. If she had gone the day before, then I wouldn’t be here telling my story.
Growing up was never easy for me.We didn’t always have food in our fridge. My parent would always argue, and I’d cry because I hated seeing them so angry. They wasted their money on mostly alcohol or materialistic things. My Mom would buy a bunch of purses and just collect them, while my Dad had to buy the biggest flat screen TV for our living room. Even though they both had jobs, there was never enough money for all four of us. So, we got evicted.
When we got evicted from our house in Colerain, we had to move closer to the downtown area of Cincinnati. I remember the last house we lived in together as a family. It had dark red bricks on the outside, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a huge backyard and a basement. But my favorite part was the big fireplace in the living room. Even though we never once lit it, it just made me feel so welcome. The house was on a street called Memory Lane, which is kind of funny considering we made a lot of memories there. It was the very first time we celebrated Christmas as a family. My mom took us to the Dollar Store, and we bought this big stocking and a bunch of stuff to put in it. We bought lights and ornaments to put up on the tree. Then, just like so many other times, we were evicted.
So it is pretty obvious that I didn’t have the picture perfect childhood, and a lot of you are probably feeling a little sorry for me right now. But don’t, because it got me where I am today.
I got a second chance because I was in and out of the foster care system. I got taken in by a family, and I'm still with them today. When I hear my classmates grumble about their A- grade or being grounded, I just roll my eyes. I know that I can’t afford to flunk out of college. You see, I understand the value of education and what not having one can do to your life.
If you're missing the basic necessities in life, then you're screwed and that's just like how I was. That's why my childhood wasn't all that great, yet I'm still here, I'm still in high school, I didn't drop out. That's why I will change the world, invent something, create a positive movement, start a business, anything! Struggle isn't always bad. I mean without pain, how will we ever really know joy? Everything works out in the end, and if it doesn't work out.....then it's not the end.
Treasure Brents is a student at Centerville High School. Special Thanks to Tricia Rapoch, teacher for the Communication Arts Program at Centerville High School. Learn more at the school's website: http://www.centerville.k12.oh.us/CHS Dayton Youth Radio is supported by the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.