My name is Luis and I am 16 years old. I was not the best of 3 kids, I was one to want to do everything my way and if I didn’t get it I would act out violently and hurt anyone in my way. I’ve been through shootouts, stabbing, and even seeing my own friend die in front of me. I’ve lived through heavy drug use, like narcotics and street drugs. (It has taken time,) but I have learned from my mistakes. I’ve been arrested 9 times, and to 6 different placements, and the last one helped change me. Lakeside Academy gave me different opportunities like being to be a part of Speak It Forward. At first I didn’t like poetry, but what they do isn’t just poetry. It’s a method to let go of what we hold onto in our lives and for me it worked. I learned that all I needed was to express what I’ve gone through and a chance for others to listen to my story. I’m from California and have gone through so much, but now I live in Indiana playing Varsity football in high school, about to reach my goal of playing college football. None of this would have happened if it weren’t for Speak It Forward, they changed my life and helped me find a second chance to be different and successful.