It was a cold fall night on November 12 of 2014, a special day unlike any other. It was my 16th birthday, and I just came home from football practice. I was ready to go inside to my lovely warm Fresh princeapartment and relax, but it turns out there was a lock on the door. My mom was telling me that we had just been evicted. At that moment my heart plummeted as I realized the situation we were in. My mother is a single parent who had been already struggling to find a reliable source of income and make ends meet .  For the next couple of days after the eviction, we stayed at a woman shelter,  I would go to school, football practice then head down there afterward. After a couple of days our stay at the shelter was cut short due to the fact that the shelter was to be a safe haven for only domestic abused spouses. At that moment things were at an all-time low, however by the luck of God my tragic fate was about to change. I received a call from one my friend’s father, and that call was a blessing in its entirety. Kyle’s parents had always been a big part of my life, as they had helped multiple times in the past. However this time was different, it was on another level. Kyle’s parents picked me up from the shelter and in agreement with my mother due to the circumstances, I had to part ways from my mother for the time being and live with Kyle’s family.

Kyle’s family As his father would describe it are well off. In my eyes there were rich, they had two Range Rovers a Mercedes, and a two story house with a three car garage. Coming from the neighborhood I grew up in, it was rare for a family to have an exotic car in their driveway, let alone have three. I could tell they lived a more flamboyant lifestyle, as Mrs. Evens would go groceries shopping in a mink coat. Mink coats are one of the most expensive clothing brands, mostly seen in rap videos.

The first difference I saw was their costumes for dinner time were different from what I was used to. Dinner time usually with my mother we would eat at the sofa and watch television, with the Greens they would eat at the table telling stories about their day without any distraction from cellphones or television. Mrs. Green would cook healthy meals every night on weekdays, and then on the weekends we would usually have dinner at restaurants. In comparison to living with my single parent mother, where I would have gas station snacks or fast food for dinner, since my mother worked continuously.

After dinner, it was time to work on homework Mr. and Mrs. Greens would help us if we needed it. The Greens were very big on grades and would either Reward or punish their kids for it. That being said Kyle and his sibling would have a stellar GPA . As for me in high school, I was not the best of student’s and without having someone around to hold me responsible, I didn’t pursue my studies the way I was supposed to. As I  said before school was the utmost importance to the greens, so missing school was not an option. The only reason to miss was because of sickness not because one did not feel like it or overslept. Under the mentoring of the greens I had perfect attendance that year. I remember Mrs. Green paying for Kyle to take SAT prep class this in turn payed off because he received high scores and is now attending the University Of Pittsburgh on a partial academic scholarship. As for me during that time I was focused on passing high school, But because of Greens I started to take my education more seriously, and was more motivated to succeed.  I saw that there is an opportunity through education to make it out the slums..

The holidays were a good time to be in the Greens house as they would go and buy an actual Christmas tree. The tree would  range from 10-20 feet tall depending on the year. This was only possible because of their big living room. Standard living rooms are not fitting 20-foot tall trees. On Christmas day the trees would be decorated, and the presents would be under the tree. Mrs. Green would cook breakfast made for kings, Lunch, and a feast for dinner. They would unwrap presents, and the gifts would be something of a dream to some people. The presents would be expensive gifts such as new game systems, iPhones, tablets, designer clothes, and laptops. The Family was so used to these types of gifts that they would have a fit if they got anything less. I explained to Kyle’s brother that there would be time  I would not get anything I wanted but was happy for just a gift. He took those words and realized he needed to be more grateful.

Throughout the rest of that School year, I learned the quality of life and what it takes in this world to succeed. I would never of gotten the chance had it not been  for living with the Greens. They pushed me to higher my standards and taught me the real American dream, not just the desire to survive. I remember one day they asked me what is my goal in life I said I wanted to become successful. However My version of success was to own a two bedroom apartment because at the time I never had my room. Then Mr. Green Said “that Nice but the average American middle-class version of success is a four-bedroom house with a two-door garage.” This opened my eyes to what true success was. He told me that I should not settle for just getting by but always striving for a higher quantity of life. I still keep that mindset close to me today. There is no discredit to my mother who raised me into a well-rounded respectful person. After staying with the Greens, I believe that there is such a thing as being a produce of your environment. If all a person sees is one setting that’s what that person  is going to believe in since it is what they are used to. Living with the Greens showed me a different perspective of life and how life is not set in stone; it can be changed.

The end of the school year was time for me to leave the greens house whole and move back with my mother who had become financially stable. Still to this day the Greens and I are still the greens are a big part of my life, due to the major impact they had on me, and the lessons they instilled that will be with me forever. In Closing the Greens are like family to me, and if it weren’t for them I would never get to experience what a two parent household was or what success truly was. Whenever I decide to start a family, I plan to model some of my parenting strategies after the Greens.