By Na’qwaun Whitaker
Editor’s note: This article was written by a BCPSS student with the hope that teachers will share it with their students.
I have a lot of home problems. I don’t really go to school, even virtually. My home problems interfere with school. As far as school goes, by me not attending school virtually and by me going through a lot of stuff personally, it affects my grades.
The digital divide is real, but I do have a computer and access to Wi-Fi. Dr. J got me a computer. Mr. D has been my favorite teacher since I came to Renaissance. Dr. J and Mr. D are there for me and they help me.
I want to be honest with you: Depression is something people like me cannot deal with or handle so we run to evade our depression like running towards drugs or something worse than drugs instead of us just facing our problems. We just seem to run away from them like it’s going to solve something. People like me don’t like opening up because they seem like they always get hurt. I know how it feels. All it takes is the right person to change you or push you in the right direction. There’s a saying: “If you don’t have your own story you are going to be a part of someone else’s story.” That saying could mean if you don’t know what to do in your life there’s somebody possibly out there who can help you.
I am writing this for other students who are going through what I am going through. I want them to know you don’t have to give up. There are a lot of things you can turn to that won’t hurt you but will better you. For some people it’s different. Some people turn to drugs to help them out. Some people turn inwards to themselves. They might not even have anyone to turn to like a loved one or a friend of the family that is looking out for them and pushing them in the right direction and keeping them from doing bad for themselves.
One thing I want to leave behind me in 2020 are parts of my personality where I am stubborn. One thing I want to take with me into 2021 is everyone who helped me get past 2020. I want to take with me all the relationships that have helped me get through this year. If you don’t feel like you have anyone, even if you don’t have the same problems as me, there is someone still in your corner. There is someone who can leave you with some knowledge to not be depressed and give up.
I know for some people, reading this might be tough. But in reality, there are a lot of kids in Baltimore city going through a lot. If they don’t have their parents, they feel the streets are the only place to go. Kids don’t know what to do. Kids out here are committing crimes against the same people in the community that are just like them. They feel they only have one path to go down. I want to speak about what’s uncomfortable so I can help make others like me feel more comfortable.
Na’qwaun Whitaker is a 10th grade student at Renaissance Academy who worked for BTU this past summer as part of the YouthWorks program. He loves Greek mythology and playing video games that have a mystery behind them. Na’qwaun wants to be remembered by the world as someone who decided to help out his community and mobilize the neighborhood. He wants to be known as someone who came back to help others.