“Being the oldest of eight children, I felt a great deal of responsibility.”
Growing up, my family moved around a lot. Many times we lived with our grandparents. Moving around meant that I had to adjust to a lot of new people and places, while transitioning from school to school. That proved to be a challenge because I was so shy. It was a struggle making new friends. Being the oldest of eight children and feeling a great deal of responsibility, I decided to focus on setting a good example for my brothers and sisters and that included making good grades.
In middle school, my life was finally starting to progress with some consistency. I was attending a middle school that I liked and was finally starting to make friends. While sitting in my seventh-grade classroom one day, I heard a message that would change my life.
There was a Think On Point teacher talking about the importance of abstinence and not just from sex, but from all risky behaviors. I was excited about what I’d learned that day. I knew choosing a path that allowed me to focus on my grades and my future was for me. I felt great until I overheard my friends talking later at lunch about how dumb abstinence was and how they didn’t think it would work. Secretly, I knew that my friends and I would part ways.
As I transitioned into high school, my biggest obstacle was peer pressure. I admit, it was a struggle for me to always find something constructive to do, and my friends weren’t doin’ anything to help. I needed to find a group of friends who were going to build me up, but I didn’t know where to look.
I met AJ my 10th grade year. He was different than my other friends; he was focused on his future and didn’t let his friends’ negative behaviors influence him. Then AJ told me about the Teen Board. He said being a member introduced him to friends that supported him. I was pretty skeptical about this whole Teen Board thing. I’m a pretty shy guy so the idea of meeting new people made my stomach turn.
Aj was persistent, so I decided to give it a try. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I found that the Teen Board was an accepting group of young people that shared a lot of the same goals and values I did. They got me out of my shell. I no longer feel shy when I meet people, and public speaking isn’t a problem anymore either.
The confidence I’ve gained as a member of the Teen Board and my counselor’s guidance pushed me to become a mentor at school. I love doing this and as I become older, one of my goals is to continue to make an impact on young people like On Point has made on me. I want other teens to know that just because we struggle at times there’s always hope and you can lead a successful life. Thinking back, the continued support of my mother, teachers and On Point leaders have kept me focused. I am grateful that I’ve been a part of On Point.
Torrey is currently ranked at the top of his class. He is a peer mentor at school, a member of the track team, the National Honor Society, Sigma and the Riffle Team. Torrey is also extremely active within his church, where he sings and dances. After graduation, Torrey is considering joining the Army or attending the University of Tennessee, where he plans to study Engineering.
Motto: Fulfill your goals
|Last Updated on Friday, 06 July 2012 09:39|