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ISBN: 9781935552185
Foster Care Writing Contest (Staff Shout-Out): Connecting Through Rap
Mr. Gary, Mercy First
Jaeden G.

I have quite a few staff I would like to celebrate, but I feel one should be noticed. He’s young, he’s been through what I’ve been through, and most of all we rap alike. His name is Mr. Gary. He makes the kids in our residential facility do better and strive for success.

When I met Mr. Gary, I had family problems and I AWOLed a lot. One day, after I came back from AWOL, he asked me, “Can you rap?” Out of nowhere!

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I answered, “Yes!”

He grabbed his speaker and played a classic Biggie Smalls instrumental. Then, of course, I started rapping. After I finished, he told me I had skills. Since that day, we are related.

He helped me a lot. When I was in my AWOLing and delinquency phase, he spoke to me about how he dealt with the problems that he faced when he was growing up. Every time I did something bad, he’d give me a certain look and say, “What’s up with you?” and right then and there I would get back on track. I cleaned up my act.

What made me trust him the most was his honesty. He would be honest about anything, I mean anything.

Because he’s so honest, I believed him when he told me that I can rap better than him. That changed me because he’s a good rapper, and everybody used to tell me I was trash. His statement was meaningful to me.

Tell Us Your Story—Win $100

This column is written by our readers in care. Tell us about a staff who believed in you, listened to you, advocated for you, gave you great advice, who in any way made your life better. Email your essay to representmail@youthcomm.org with the subject line Foster Care Writing Contest. Essays will be edited for length and clarity. The writer of the essay we run will receive $100.

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