My name is Jabril Muhammad. I was born in La’dera Heights in 1988. I grew up in mostly Los Angeles Communities. I once lived with my mother, my father and my brother Shareef who is one year apart from me in birth. The year came when I was split from my family and put into foster care. This year was 1997. My brother and I were put into the system.
I went into the hospital for my Sickle Cell for three weeks. My mother was admitted into Olivine hospital for being mentally unstable because of the abuse my father did to her. My mother Khadijah was a very brisk, cunning woman in life, had a career and graduated from a 4 year University.
After she was released she began to contact “DCFS” the department of Children and Family Social Services, in order to have my brother and me back into her custody. She had to complete parenting classes all over again.
My father Rasheed, was locked up. Shareef and I became comfortable in a home. We had a life, everything was good, had our first experience at Six Flag’s Magic Mountain. Our most favorite hobby was riding bicycles around our new neighborhood in Sylmar.
We had monitored visits with my mother from time to time. And after she completed her classes, the “DCFS” wouldn’t let her have us back. My father was released from prison in 1999. My brother broke the news to him about abuse so my father advised us to give our social worker a call at school the next day.
I do remember the many ups and downs of staying in custody of my relatives. I’ve missed a total of 4 years of school. This has greatly affected my journey to become a successful person. It has caused me to strive for better things in life. I have become a strong enough to identify the positive and negative roads to take in life.
One of the lessons that I have been able to recognize is that, though many great people come from troublesome background, it gives one a better opportunity in expressing oneself. I feel that my mother’s death when I was 15 years old, motivated me to overcome lots of my challenges. Some of those include having lived in foster care homes, where I was influenced to do bad things including smoking, nearly joining gangs and becoming a promiscuous person.
I have also lived in two other foster homes where I was very supported and encouraged to grow and develop. There are many people that have come my way to help me and show me the right pat the follow my dreams and goals. I have become a person who understands my possibilities.
On Sept. 22 of 2006, I received my first scholarship. In 2005 I was selected to participate in Peace Process, an ‘anti-gang violence’ documentary which is being well received. I feel that my participation in the film has helped me to explore and as a result of it, it has made me realize my potential in Journalism and talent in becoming an Actor.
I will be graduation this year from Los Angeles High School. It is my plan to attend Santa Monica Community College in the fall of 2007, then transfer to Morehouse University in Atlanta, fall of 2009. I want to major in Journalism and Theatre.