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Meet #MAPYouth Dabreon!

Glass shattered around me as I dove to the floor and covered my head. Then came the noise of a car quickly driving away. I heard footsteps and then a booming knock on my door. Someone was screaming, saying, "Help! Help! Help!" I looked up from the floor. There were glass shards around me and a few cuts on my body. I got up and ran to see who was screaming outside. It was a young man on our steps holding his side. I opened the door and saw blood gushing from out his body. Moments later I heard police and ambulance sirens as they approached my neighborhood in the East Side of Buffalo, NY. I ran back inside of my house as the police and ambulances arrived on the scene of the crime, and what I saw as I walked inside of my house are broken shards of glass on the floor, bullet holes, and the bullets themselves. I picked up one of the bullets; it was warm and still gave off heat. I looked at it and was frozen. I could have been struck by one of these bullets in the head and killed instantly. I stopped breathing. I had been literally inches away from death.


After, I had nightmares about that night. I would sit in my room and stare at the ceiling just hoping that there was a reason life was so hard. My grandmother told me, "You better take advantage of your situation and don't take life for granted." How right she was. People in my community don't get the opportunities I've received. Going to Canisius High School, being recruited for the sport of rowing and with working at MAP learning about sustainability and agriculture. I've always been told by my mom "to be the difference". The weight of my family and the community is on my shoulders, I have to show the kids in my area that it is possible for them to become a difference, you just have to take that leap. I'm seen as a leader amongst my peers, having a leadership role at MAP as the citizenship and policy specialist, Varsity 8 rower and respected at my school. Trying to balance 6 hours of work a week while rowing, while going to school as well as volunteering as a mentor in schools across Western New York is tough, but even at my best I feel I can do even better.

I will be studying to become an environmental lawyer, a marketer and a computer designer so I can not only live happy but live great. All I want is for my mom to never have to work another day in her life and to get my family out of this poverty.

Success means nothing if it can't be shared. Being able to do this isn't my ending, but instead my beginning.  

Thank you for checking out The Revolution Will Be Cultivated! To support #MAPYouth for The United Way of Buffalo & Erie County's Spring It On campaign, visit out our fundraiser page here: www.springiton.org/MAP



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