Growing Up as an Teen-fluencer
Many of you know that I grew up in Paterson, New Jersey, which is about 15-20 minutes outside of NYC. I attended Rosa Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts with a major in Drama. This is where I gained my foundation in speaking. This was not the typical high school that had a sports team. This high school allowed you to consider arts as your primary focus. I was shy initially but God allowed the flower to blossom completely. I broke out of the shell of shyness as I entered my sophomore year, which also allowed me to understand more about who I was and what I wanted as a potential career.
Now, I enjoyed these high school years, although there were moments of struggle as well. It was during these years that the truth was revealed about me being sexually abused. However, through this difficult time, I knew that God still had His hand upon my life, guiding the journey. Don’t get me wrong. I made huge mistakes and did many things I was not supposed to but His grace abounded all the more.
I participated in several clubs while in high school as well as played several sports. I was apart of the student government association, academic decathlon, and many other clubs. I was fond of basketball, volleyball and track as a thin athletic leader. These activities along with church activities kept me grounded, sane, and focused on the future. Yes. I did the vacation bible schools, Sunday school and choir. And to this day, I did enjoy these activities because of my love for God.
These activities, however, did not stop me from engaging in activities that may not have pleased God. You see, I attended these activities as it was encouraged by family. At this time in my life, I did not seek to have a deep relationship with God. This changed during my college years, however, which I will share in a later message.
Friendships, as a teenage, was sweet and not so sweet. I used to be apart of this clique called ‘The Community.’ Wack right? I know. I was not apart of this so-called popular group for too long. God began to show me how they singled people out because how they looked and what they did. This community engaged in in-school and after school activities together. After a while, a stepped outside of the box and enjoyed being ME. I loved all people, popular and unpopular, for who they were.
Despite the abuse becoming public, gaining/loosing friends, and my waywardness, I still managed to graduate from high school as class valedictorian (with 4.25 GPA) and made several appearances in the news papers. What the enemy meant for evil, God turned it around for my good. He gave me several open doors into colleges with scholarships. And just wait until you hear a little about my college years… To be continued on Saturday September 23rd…
Thank you for listening!