Hi I’m Damian.
I have been in KYP for 9 years now, and it has been a big part of my life. When I came here I was one of the younger kids in the program, and as I got older, I learned a lot by watching the older kids ahead of me. As I started to get older, I tried to be a good role model to my younger brothers, so they would look up to someone the way I did. We all live with my grandmother and whenever I was part of something with KYP, I know she felt good knowing we were doing good things.
When I got into high school, I became more of a leader, which meant that I had a lot of new responsibilities here. I have been part of planning and doing a lot of community service projects, including canned food drives, local park clean ups and providing food bags to families in West Oakland. I never really thought I would like doing that kind of work, but after a while I learned that it felt really good to be a leader. Some of the new experiences I’ve tried with KYP are whitewater rafting, paintballing, and walking across Golden Gate Bridge.
This school year has been one of the most challenging years for me as a student. I really enjoyed Biology, and I learned a lot about the way science works. But like any teenager, I had my share of distractions and I got off track with my work. Thankfully, KYP was here to help me get back on the right track so I was able to bring my grades up to graduate from high school.
I’m happy that I stayed with KYP for so long because without them I don’t know where I would be right now. I want to thank everybody at KYP!