…no one wanted anything to do with me. Sasha Bruce was different. Ms. Vicki and Ms. Gina always told me that they would not turn their back on me.
Testimony to the DC Council’s Department of Human Services by Marcus Harrison
I am providing my testimony today is to tell you about my road from the streets to success.
I am not going to give a story about how good I was coming up because I was everything but good. I did not want to listen to no one but my mother and father. Around them I was an angel, but to everyone else I was far from an angel. My father thought that beating me would help but it only made me worse. My mother believed in letting me learn from my mistakes. My mother always said, “When I am gone you are going to wish you listened to everything I told you.” Once I got older and I realized that everything she told me was right, I lost her. Without her, I did not listen to anyone. My father and grandmother gave-up on me because I was too much to handle. As a result, no one wanted anything to do with me. Sasha Bruce was different. Ms. Vicki and Ms. Gina always told me that they would not turn their back on me. At first, I did not want to hear anything because in my mind I could do everything on my own. At that time I was going through a phase in my life called “Depression” even though I thought I was “normal”, everyone else saw me as a ticking time bomb ready to explode. When I was twenty, I went to a United States Penitentiary. It was awful that I was at a place like that so young with an eight month sentence, from the time I came until the time I left I learned something. I realized that I got to work hard to better myself. The first two people that popped into my head were Ms. Vicki and Ms. Gina and Sasha Bruce; I knew I could go back to them for help because they have always had my back. When I came home it was still the same, no one wanted me to stay with them because of things in the past. In my mind, I knew that I had a lot of work to do and Sasha Bruce has been with me all the way. Programs like Youthbuild and Project HYPE have helped me better myself and I would like to thank Mr. Ken Walker, Ms. Victoria Otchere, and Ms. Gina Bulett for having my back.
Before you think about cutting funding to help young adults and youth, please recognize that you are hurting young people like me who have gone through a difficult time, but are trying to do better for themselves. Without Sasha Bruce, I do not know if I would have made it this far. Thank you for listening.