CCA Youth Services Literary Magazine

Document Sample
CCA Youth Services Literary Magazine Powered By Docstoc
					CCA Youth Services
 Literary Magazine
    February 2009




    Table of Contents
                                   Table of Contents
Youth Submissions……………………………………………………………………..p. 5
       Creative Writing………………………………………………………………...p. 6
       First-person accounts, personal testimony…………………………………….p. 12
       Artwork………………………………………………………………………..p. 28
Adult Submissions…………………………………………………………………….p. 44




                                                                   3
   Youth
Submissions




              5
                                              Big Jam


The kid got caught up in a big jam,
That only got me 4 months in a program
I was tight, but it turned out all right.
Its whateva imma ride
Out for mine


Yeah I did it, yeah I got caught with dat knife
98th St. were da D’s read me my rights
I was a minor, so u no they had two call my moms
Slap the cuffs on me -n- then he said stay calm.
He was cool, but the fool still lock me up.
He only did his job.


So, I had 2 suck it up
All the problems, yeah of course it’s makes me stay in school.
But don’t get it twisted, I still handle mine.




                                            By: A. Downie
                                       Youth Participant
                                  Afterschool/ATD Program




                                                                 6
                           Creative Writing Assignment:
Write a letter to your future child about the recent presidential election.


November 5, 2008


Dear Cynthia,


       The last week in America has been shocking to the whole country. The first
African American Presided has been elected. He goes by the name of Barack Obama.
Americans were surprised to see this and now there are high expectations for everyone.
I’m very shocked myself to even be alive to witness this. Barack is paving the future for
other African Americans to live good in this country. I wasn’t alive to witness Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr., but I was for Barack Obama. Maybe someday there will be another black
president, but it won’t be as shocking as the first one.


Yours truly,


                                         S. Wilson
                                     Youth Participant
                               ATD After School Program




                                                                                            7
                                       Poems
Look at Me
When you look at me,
I know you think of a real G.
When you look at me wrong,
I keep my head up and stay strong.

THE ONLY WAY OUT IS…
The only way out is through.
The only way out is you.
Depends on the breath you take,
The only way out is the choices you make.
Sleeping everyday until you hear someone say,
The only way out is have it your way.
Not so sad so release your stress,
The only way out is to do your “Beat.”

Love
Red, sweet
Trust, honesty, forgiving
Everyone needs love always
Love

Trees
Brown, hard
Branches, leaves, barks
Trees bring real oxygen
Nature

Apples
Green, crunchy,
Chewing, eating, cutting
Apples taste very juicy
Fruit

Reckless
My brother so happy,
But he is reckless.
He don’t can it a chain,
He calls it a necklace.
He does bad stuff,
He don’t want fight,
He wants to snuff.




                                                8
Hateful
The word hateful is very strong,
The word fight goes very wrong.
If not that nothing less,
Use the work “like” that’s the best.

About Jackie
Neat, Intelligent, Tall, Talented
Angela & Robert
Pizza, Money, Women
Sullen, Ecstatic, Combative
N war, No violence, Keep the ozone
Hawaii, Peace, Future
N.Y.C.
Robinson

About Deven
Sloppy, Uneducated, Short, Very Disruptive
Lurran & Michael
Gangs, Violence, Jail
Inflamed, Belligerent, Glum
Penitentiary, Riker’s Island, Bookins
Philadelphia
Jimson

Clerihew
When you look at me,
I know think of a real g.
When you look at me wrong,
I keep my head up and stay
Strong

Grapes
Grapes are really sweet
Purple fruits or very
Delicious
Grapes are really good

Rice
Rice is really good
White grain or red grain are good
Rice is really little




                                             9
Snow Blow
Snow Blow is a dog I thought we had for life,
Until last November when he lost his life.
Snow Blow was a dog going through stress
He was the only dog we knew the best.
And if someone came in the house he didn’t know,
He’d put their foot in his mouth and bite off their toe
Snow Blow went left and right,
The closes dog we held so tight.
But after my grandfather passed,
We knew that was Snow Blow’s last.

                                     By: D. Richards
                                    Youth Participant
                                      CSP Program




                                                          10
Poetry
LOVE

Love is quite and humble
Love can be a riot or a rumble
Love is like holding a football
hoping not to fumble
With Love you can’t be afraid
to stumble
Love can be so beautiful or
can crumble
People without love are like
bees without the bumble

LIFE

Life is good, life is bad
The life of a hood is sad
Live is unpredictable, you’re
always taking risks
Life can be a treat or a trick
In life you can met friends or
pricks
When life come to an end
you hope you had a kick




          By: S. G.




                                  11
                           Drew Fraser Comes to CCA


       Drew Fraser is a comedian who hosted “Bad Boys of Comedy.” He visited CCA
on July 22, when Mr. Eugene Reed invited him. We saw a clip of the show and then Mr.
Fraser spoke about how his career started and how Eddie Murphy inspired him when he
was young. I thought that he was really funny. When he joked, he wasn’t offensive and
he spoke clearly, so I could understand what he was saying.


       He asked the audience what they would like to do when they were older and then
he would continue to question people to see if they were really committed to the career
that they had chosen. Drew also said that when he was growing up, kids said that being a
comedian wasn’t a career. But, Drew Fraser didn’t listen. He knew what he wanted to do
when he grew up, so he became a comedian, which made him very successful in life.


                                    By: D. Victorin
                                   Youth Participant
                              Afterschool/ATD Program




                                                                                          12
                         CCA Trip to “A Bird’s Eye View”
On Thursday, August 28, 2008, we went to Manhattan to see a play. When we got there, I
thought it was going to be boring, but when we sat down, the characters started to talk
about how hard it is growing up in the ‘hood with no money.


One kid went to selling drugs, because he got a girl pregnant and couldn’t support the
child. When he started selling drugs, he realized that it wasn’t the way to go. He stopped
selling and he knew that selling drugs was fake.


In the end, he figured out that his girl had had an abortion, but he stayed off selling drugs
anyway. Two guys planned to kill him because he had stopped selling drugs, but when
they got there, they couldn’t kill him, because they had known him for so long.
In the end, the play wasn’t boring at all and I really liked it after all.

                                     By: M. Santamarco
                                      Youth Participant
                                 Afterschool/ATD Program




                                                                                           13
                                    Six Flags Trip
Give me one reason why I would want to get up at 6:00AM on a hot summer day. You
don’t know why? Well I’ll tell you, because it was no ordinary summer day. It was
August 20, the day of CCA’s 2008 Six Flags trip. I had been waiting for this day ever
since Ms. Trina handed me my permission slip. I hadn’t been going to After School
consistently, so I was scared I wouldn’t get to go. I called Ms. Tiffany and asked if I had
been picked to go. She said she would check and call back. It was now the day of the trip
and I still hadn’t got a call back, but I was confident I would go.

I woke up at 5:00 AM and jumped in the shower. I got dressed and I was out the door by
6:10. Ms. Trina had told us the bus would leave at 7:30, but we should be there at 7:00
AM . We sat there and waited for the bus and while we waited they were assigning kids
to chaperones. My heart was racing with fears of not being picked. My heart was
pounding until I heard them call my name and they handed me a yellow T-shirt. The bus
came late, but we were happy it showed up. We were packed and ready to go. We were
off to Six Flags!

It was an hour-long trip, but we finally made it. Everybody split up into groups and
headed inside the park. The first ride I went on was called The Great American Scream
Machine. It had five loops and it felt like your body was flying out the car. I went on
other rides,such as Skull Mountain, El Toro and The Nitro, but none was as heart
stopping as The King Da Ka. The King Da Ka was a roller coaster that felt like you were
free falling with no parachute.

Six Flags was a blast. We left at 4:30PM. Everyone fell asleep on the way back and
before we knew it we were back at CCA ready to get dismissed. Six Flags was fun and I
would like to thank the staff for allowing us to have a great day out and letting us drag
them on every roller coaster at the CCA Six Flags 2008 trip.

                                      By: K. Primus
                                    Youth Participant
                               Afterschool/ATD Program




                                                                                         14
                                 CCA’s Thanksgiving Party

        On November 25th, 2008, which happened to fall on a Tuesday, The Center for
Community Alternatives held its second annual Thanksgiving party for the youth
members.


        It was astounding! There was music, food, and people of course. There was
turkey, stuffing, cornbread, which was my favorite. There was also lasagna, macaroni and
cheese, and for desert, devil’s food cake, pie, and cookies. In my opinion, it was a great
experience for the youth: a comfortable environment, and CCA employees who I know
are out to see me achieve greatness.


        As stated by: The United Negro College Fund,
                    “ A MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE.”


        I believe that anyone can achieve what he or she sets his or her mind to. People
who I happen to idealize have always told me I can be whatever I would like to be, and I
believe that applies to anyone and everyone.


        In conclusion the CCA is an organization to help the youth today set themselves
on the right track in society.


                                       By: A. Petrizzo
                                     Youth Participant
                                       YAP Program




                                                                                             15
                                 September 11th, 2001
       It was a beautiful September day in the year 2001, six days after my ninth
birthday. I was in school and it was lunchtime. There was a huge panic. My friends were
saying there were ninjas on the roof.


       The next thing I knew, my principal had come to pick me up from the cafeteria
and brought me back to the office. Waiting there for my arrival was my grandmother
from my mother’s side of the family. Walking through her neighborhood towards her
apartment building, she was briefing me about the situation that had really occurred.


       While watching the news, I learned more. A plane had hit one of the World Trade
Center towers. My mom worked down the block from it and my step-dad worked in the
World Trade Center. He had attended work that day. Unfortunately, he was stationed in
the basement of the first building to receive damage from a plane. I was nervous.


       Later that evening my step-dad was stating that it was like an action movie, with
fire and falling buildings, smoke and debris. My mother, on the other hand, worked for
the government at the time, for an agency known as GSA in the Alexander Hamilton
United States Custom House. Both my parents were safe and once again able to protect
their offspring.


                                        By: A. Stokes
                                   Youth Participant
                                        CSP Program




                                                                                         16
                                       Testimony


Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen;


My name is A. Fletcher and I am 16 years old. I started attending programming at CCA
in September of 2007. Before doing so I was walking a very disruptive path in my life by
beginning to follow the wrong friends during and after school. This was the only time
that I had associated with any friends. My mom was not the type of person that let her
children go hangout or go anywhere, she did not even let us sit in front of the apartment
building or wherever we liked. She has always said that this is for our own good. She
does the best she can to keep us from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She
used to say the only friend we have is our parents, along with our brothers and sisters.
My mom is one of the toughest mom’s that I know, she is strict and will remain that way
until she dies.


I was arrested for robbery and my mother received the phone call she was never hoping
to get. She was furious, but stood by me because of her love for me. I was arrested and
given a second chance at life by a Judge who allowed me to attend programming at CCA.
It was a bumpy road and I had many ups and downs for a while even getting in some
trouble again. I spent a little bit of time in Riker’s, a place where it was “every man for
himself” and I was attacked by another inmate. After I was released from Riker’s, I was
immediately transported to Chicago by the Department of Homeland Security for
unresolved immigration issues. My experience in detention was simply horrible.


When I returned home, these experiences made me realized that I really needed to make a
positive change in my life. I sat back and thought to myself about all the dangerous
things my mother used to warn me of. They were all happening to me. Everything
started to replay itself in my head. I had been in the wrong place at the wrong time with
the wrong company. I realized that I had to take advantage of the chance that the Judge
gave me and really focus on the programs at CCA.




                                                                                           17
At CCA I have been able to “give back” by doing community service. I helped to clean
up Fort Tyron Park at park day, I have volunteered to help people with disabilities and
even worked at a soup kitchen. I am doing better in school and this past July I was
named CCA Star of the Month.


CCA has helped me and many other young men and women become better people. It
will continue to do so as long as its doors remain open to those who need help finding
their future. I know that what I have to do is take time to learn and exercise the skills
CCA has taught. It is places like CCA that ensure we have a better country. Without
places like CCA there would be more crime because more people would be harmed by
incarceration.


CCA staff made me feel welcome and at home. The afterschool programming and
activities helped me. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to have attended CCA and
am grateful to everyone involved in my case; my lawyer, my mom, my case managers,
my court advocate, and Judge Padro.


Thank you.


                                      By: A. Fletcher
                                    Youth Participant
                                      YAP Program




                                                                                            18
                          U. N. Testimony of M. Gardner
                                    February 2008
Thank you for allowing me to testify her today about racial discrimination in the juvenile
justice system in the United States. My name is M. Gardner and I live in New York City.
I am now 17 years old. In October 2006, when I was 15 years, I was convicted of a
crime. Even though I was only 15, I was charged and sent to an adult court. I was
arrested with my brother. We were both sent to a detention center where I stayed fo ra
month. The detention center was full of kids like me, young black men. It is not
surprising that detention centers are filled with black youth because of how the cops
profile and target young black men, especially when we go into white or mostly white
neighborhoods.

After a month in detention, the judge released me and gave me another chance. I was
mandated to attend a program at the Center for Community Alternatives, called CCA> I
had to participate in the program for a year. At first I didn’t know anything about the
program. But the year went by very fast because CCA is an excellent program. I met
many new great people and the staff took me many places and showed me that I could
have a life that didn’t involve the streets or crime. I was lucky. Many of the kids in
detention did not get out and eventually were sent upstate. In the U.S. young people, and
especially young black mean are not given the opportunity to have a second chance. If
they commit a crime, they are treated like adults and made to do their time. But that
doesn’t really help them at all. That just messes up their education and their life. I don’t
know a lot about the United Nations and treaty to End Racial Discrimination. But I can
tell you that the United States has a long way to go. The United States government
should face up to how many young black men are in prison. Most of us start in the
juvenile justice system. To live up to the UN treaty, the United States should stop using
detention and incarceration and support alternative programs that help young people
achieve our dreams.

                                     By: M. Gardner
                                    Youth Participant
                                      YAP Program




                                                                                          19
                                 “I AM CHANGED”
                          Journal Entry Written on 9/11/2008


       Being in CCA changed me a lot and made me see many things more clearer. I
realized that there are a lot of other after school program that I could have attended in
order to stay out of trouble & make my mother more proud. It also made me realize that
this is a chance for myself and others to prove they have made mistake in life & still can
do better. In life people make mistakes, but what is more important is that people can
learn from them. I have made mistakes in life that I am learning from, choose my friends
is very important to me because I don’t want bad influence around me. Going to college
is one of my achievements that I would like to accomplish because I want to make my
family proud & I also would like to enjoy the college life. With my achievement it’s
going to take a lot out of me. “Change” is a must & that is something that I have been
working on. This program is helping me change & become a better person.




                                      By: A. Scotland
                                    Youth Participant
                               Afterschool/ATD Program




                                                                                            20
Juvenile client’s letter to his sentencing Judge prior to his exit from the
                                         YAP Program

June, 8, 2008


Dear Judge,
I would rather be in the program than locked up. I thought the program was going to be trouble
before I got here because I thought I would have to fight every day. In my neighborhood it’s like
jail because you have to fight a lot. When I arrived at the program I thought I would fight but
after all I didn’t. The kids in the program were friendly and the staff too.


When I first got in the program the kids and I used to play games, watch TV, go on computers,
and have group. When I was here for two weeks we started going to the back to see the teacher,
for help with homework or they would give you work. [The teacher] at CCA told me to she use to
teach at MLK, and I ask her if she knows my sister and she said yes.


Being in the program helps me stay out of trouble because I have to come almost every day and I
have to stay in the house after 6.When the staff told me I had to be in this program for a year I
was like Oh my god, because it’s a long time but before I knew it my time is almost over.


For now my plan is to stay out of trouble.


                                             By: D. Diaz
                                        Youth Participant
                                          YAP Program




                                                                                                    21
                                  Personal Experience


       They were just eyeballing him. These low-lifes, thugs, whatever people call them
nowadays. The whole time, they were watching him. He knew something was going to
happen in just a matter of seconds. He was outnumbered. As he saw them approach him,
he got ready to run.


       As they saw this happening, they got a head start and surrounded him. They
started talking to him and asked him a variety of questions. I saw his expression and he
was scared. He shook his head, denying something that they asked him. A crew? He
owed them money? Who knew? Only God.


       They got mad with him and pulled a machete out. Then he started running, but
one pulled him back. When the other cut his chest across, he fell and let out a cry. As this
happened, everyone else beat him down. Someone called the authorities and in a matter
of minutes the ambulance came.


       The cops were asking for witnesses. I knew better than to say anything, for the
eyes on the street are more powerful than someone who opens his mouth.

                                     By: A. Torres
                                    Youth Participant
                                     CSP Program




                                                                                           22
                            Community Service Project


On Wednesday, December 3rd, myself and a few others participated in helping out at a
local soup kitchen called Neighbors Together. It was a terrific experience for me,
because I was able to accumulate a certain sense of understanding. Understanding for
people who attend that restaurant. I’ve realized that not everyone and their families can
afford food and also the fact that some people have to make a choice between having one
necessity over another.


I also realized that not everyone can be fortunate enough to have most or all of the
necessities. I really enjoyed my time at that place because it opened my eyes to another
understanding of reality.


                                     By: C. Williams
                                    Youth Participant
                    Afterschool/ATD Program and CSP Program




                                                                                        23
                       Service Trip to Neighbors Together
On Wednesday, December 10, 2008, Mr. Robinson invited me to help serve dinner at a
soup kitchen run by Neighbors Together. Alejadro met us there and the staff gave us
instructions.


When dinner started, my job was to put food on the plate for each person who came to
eat. There were a lot of adults of different ages and also about ten young kids of eleven or
twelve.


I had a good experience and I would love and hope to do it again.


                                     By: M. Torkah
                                    Youth Participant
                                   RAI/ATD Program




                                                                                         24
                   Community Service at Neighbors Together


       My time at the soup kitchen was a good experience. It gave me time to think
about my life and to be thankful that I don’t have to eat at a place like that. It also gave
me time to think more about my life in the future. Not all of the people there were what I
expected. Not all of them were homeless or jobless. I guess it’s just that some people
don’t have the money and its getting harder now that we’re kind of going through a
recession.
       The soup kitchen was nice and it was comfortable for the people who were eating
and spending time there. The food was also good. As I served the food, I felt good to be
there and to give the people what they need and to serve the community right.


                                     By: N. Henriquez
                                     Youth Participant
                                      CSP Program




                                                                                               25
                                CCA Love Week 2008


       During the “CCA love week” celebration we organized certain activities such as
two book drives to two different OCFS facilities, and a clothes drive to a homeless
shelter. The books that were donated originally came from various high schools and
different people. One half of the books were sent to an all boys facility called Ella
McQueen and the other half of the books were sent to an all girls facility called Brooklyn
Residential.
     I myself joined the voyage to deliver the books to Ella McQueen. When we got
there we were disappointed that we were unable to meet some of the residents in the
facility. Fortunately for the girls that went to Brooklyn Residential they were not only
able to meet some of the residents they were able to converse with them. According to
the girls they really enjoyed spending time with each other, and they learning a lot from
that experience.
     The clothes drive was also something special, because we found it in our hearts to
give something to someone who really needed it. When the children got to the homeless
shelter they were greeted with open arms. They were welcomed like brothers. The folks
welcomed the gifts but the welcomed the company even more. When the kids left the
shelter they left new friends and gained new thoughts.


                                     By: C. Williams
                                    Youth Participant
                     Afterschool/ATD Program and CSP Program




                                                                                           26
                                 CCA Love Week 2008

I’m happy to inform you that our “CCA Love Week” week has been a success. We’ve
had tremendous participation from not only staff members of CCA but also the students
in our residential after school programs. We participated in activities such as book drives
to a male “OCFS” facility and also a female “OCFS” facility, in addition to a clothes
drive to a homeless shelter, but I must say that as much helping the community matters to
everyone at CCA I must admit that our most spectacular performance had to have been
our “Valentines Day Open Mic Night” celebration.


On Valentines Day CCA held an “Open Mic Night” performance. It was a terrific
experience for everyone that attended the performance. I personally think that it gave
everyone an enlightening insight of different characteristics and personalities of the CCA
family. We had a variety of different performances that came on stage and did their thing,
we had rap, comedy, R&B, and even poetry. Each performance presented more and more
surprises.


Even our host was terrific he had the whole audience in tears from start to
finish. He presented awards to improved students in the after school
program. He handed out gift cards to staff members both old and new. His
performance was great he recited two poems one of his own and another by
some one else. He did them well and when time came for him to close out he
did it well. The whole night was fun right up until the end, it was great.


                                     By: C. Williams
                                    Youth Participant
                    Afterschool/ATD Program and CSP Program




                                                                                         27
 By: A. Edison
Youth Participant
RAI/ATD Program



                    28
     By: D. Victorin
    Youth Participant
Afterschool/ATD Program



                          29
George Catlin, “The White Cloud: Head Chief of the Iowas” 1844/1845




                            By: J. Figgures
                            Youth Participant
               Afterschool/ATD Program and CSP Program




                                                                      30
               George A. Hayes, “Bare Knuckles,” 1870/1885




             I picked this picture because I just signed up for boxing class.

This doesn’t look like a legal fight. This looks like an illegal fight because the men are
fighting with bare knuckles. Also, the boxing ring is somewhere no one knows and the
                            ring is made of sticks and ropes.

  Bare knuckle fighting is illegal because it is very rough and you can get very hurt.

                                      By: S. Feliz
                                   Youth Participant
                              Afterschool/ATD Program




                                                                                         31
                   Grant Wood, “Haying,” 1939




This National Gallery of Art painting reminds me of my childhood. When
I was a little boy I was living down South and this painting reminds me of
   the good time I had playing in the grass with my little brother and my
 cousins. We used to play football, four against four. Sometimes we used
to get hurt and the sky in the picture reminds of me of the pain I had in my
      childhood. The trees remind me of the fun times I had building
     treehouses. I chose this picture because it just caught my eyes. It
                  reminded me of good times and the bad.

                             By: K. Thomas
                            Youth Participant
                       Afterschool/ATD Program



                                                                               32
 By: Anonymous
Youth Participant




                    33
Six Flags T-Shirt Design Entry




       By: J. Lancaster
      Youth Participant
      RAI/ATD Program




                                 34
Six Flags T-Shirt Design Entry




         By: J. Peraza
       Youth Participant
   Afterschool/ATD Program




                                 35
Six Flags T-Shirt Design Entry




        By: M. Serrano
       Youth Participant
   Afterschool/ATD Program




                                 36
              By: C. Williams
             Youth Participant
Afterschool/ATD Program and CSP Program




                                          37
Merry Christmas




 By: R. Williams
Youth Participant
RAI/ATD Program


                    38
By: N. Henriques
Youth Participant
 CSP Program




                    39
By: N. Henriques
Youth Participant
 CSP Program



                    40
By: N. Henriques
Youth Participant
 CSP Program




                    41
 By: N. Hyman
Youth Participant
RAI/ATD Program




                    42
       By: S. Feliz
    Youth Participant
Afterschool/ATD Program


                          43
   Adult
submissions




              44
                MY PROPOSAL FROM LEVEL 1 TO LEVEL 2
I STARTED WOMEN’S CROSSROADS PROGRAM On September 7, 2007.

I WAS SENT HERE FROM BROOKLYN SUPREME COURT. I DIDN’T WANT TO BE HERE BUT I
STAYED. I LEARNED HOW TO CONTROL MY FEELINGS AND MY ANGER AND I STARTED
OPENING UP WITH MY PEERS AND STAFF AND MOST OF ALL MY CASE MANAGER. AND THEY
HELPED ME GET COMFORTABLE WITH MY READING AND MY MATH.



 BECAUSE I WAS EMBARASSED I HAD NOT FINISHED SCHOOOL, AND NOW I HAVE MADE MY
MIND UP TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL. I GO TO THE MID MANHATTAN LEARNING CENTER. I ALSO
GO TO NA AND AA MEETINGS. I HAVE A SPONSOR THAT IS GOING TO HELP ME WITH MY 12
STEPS. SHE IS GOING TO GUIDE ME THROUGH MY RECOVERY




                                    CHEETED

WHEN I WAS USING CRACK COCAINE, I CHEATED MYSELF FROM MY EDUCATION.
I DID THINGS THAT WERE OUT OF MY CONTROL. WHEN I WANTED TO SAY NO I SAID YES JUST
FOR THE NEXT ONE.



I HAVE WORKED ON MY TRIGGERS SUCH AS WHEN I SEE PEOPLE AND DEALERS
THAT I USED WITH NOW IT DOESN’T AFFECT ME. I CAN CALL MY SPONSOR AND PEERS AND
FRIENDS THAT ARE POSITIVE IN MY LIFE.




NOW I FOCUS ON WHAT IS GOOD FOR ME—MY HEALTH, MY EDUCATION, MY RECOVERY.
I HAVE COMPLETED ASSIGNMENT 1 & 2 OF MISSION STATEMENT. I HAVE STARTED A
RELAPSE PREVENTION PLAN. I SUBMIT TO RANDOM URINE, I HAVE A BUDGET. $



I HAVE A BANK ACCOUNT.

I ALSO HAVE GAINED MORE LOVE FOR MYSELF. I GO TO ALL MY DOCTORS APPOINTMENTS
WHICH I DIDN’T DO WHEN CHASING THE NEXT HIGH

                                    By: V. Davis
                                 Adult Participant
                            Women’s Crossroads Program



                                                                                 45
                          My declaration to myself
I am a good mother
I am smart
I am independent
I am caring
I am honest
I am reliable
I am a good friend
I am respectful
I am proud
I am who I always will be ME



I deserve my children
I deserve a better life
I deserve love
I deserve respect
I deserve honesty
I deserve loyalty
I deserve peace
I deserve a home


I will get my children
I will have a better life
I will have a home
I will have a job
I will go to school
I will be proud of myself
I will continue my sobriety
I will complete this program

                                  By: S. Lee
                               Adult Participant
                          Women’s Crossroads Program




                                                       46
                              Stabilization to Early Recovery
       I am submitting my proposal for phase movement from stabilization to early recovery.


 I came home on March 14, 2008. I did 2 years in Beacon. I went to see my parole
   officer and asked him if I could go to a treatment program so I can get my life
together, and he said yes. The first place he sent me was a one day a week program
but being that I just came home I said I need something longer. I don’t want to get
  high no more. My drug of choice was crack cocaine and I am tired of doing the
same thing over and over again. He sent me here to CCA, March 28, 2008. I started
 this program March 31, 2008. I didn’t like my case manager at first because she
    was hard on me, but now I know she was trying to help me because she seen
     something in me that I didn’t see in myself and I thank her and all the case
  managers for that. I got something out of every group and it’s not all about how
 people feel it’s about how I feel right now and I’m sick and tired of doing the same
   thing over and over again. I want to stay clean and nobody can stop me from
 reaching my goals. I want to get my GED and go back to school. I want to live a
 clean and sober life. I’m glad I got my kids and family for support. I also have my
                           peers and case managers for support.

My goals are to stay clean, get a part time job, have my GED and my own apartment and maybe
                            someday become a home health aide.
              My support network is my family, my peers and my NA meetings.
  I can love myself today. I take care of me and my kids. Today I am open to any additional
                   information and jewels that keep me clean another day.
        I want to thank all of my counselors for helping me on the journey to find me!


                                      By: R. Watkins
                                     Adult Participant
                              Women’s Crossroads Program


                                                                                              47
               Proposal for phase movement to middle recovery


I am giving my proposal for phase movement from early recovery to middle recovery. I
have been in this program for 8 months. I have been sober for the entire time I have been
here in program. I have been sober for 2 years.

When I came here I did not want to be here. I did not want to share in groups- I did not
trust anyone- I did not want everyone in my business. I got tired of holding stuff in so I
decided to get it off my shoulders. I learned that holding it in leads to relapse. After
sharing I felt better- I got rid of my dirt and let people carry it around for me.

I started to feel positive every day I woke up and didn’t pick up. I knew it was time for
me to get my life together.

Everything I wanted to do I started to do. I shared my feelings about my past and felt relieved. I
went to Adaptive Design and got back on track and into working. When I finished there I wanted
to keep working. I found CEO-they are helping me find a job-They are helping me be
independent.

I am ready to move forward with confidence. I am still open to any information that will
help me stay clean and sober another day. I learned how to not judge a book by its cover.
I learned how to rely on peers. I learned that if you put your mind to it you can do
anything-you need to fight for what you want and don’t give up on yourself.

I am prepared to lead an independent life. I know my triggers and how to fight an urge to
relapse. I know I will succeed.

I would like to thank all of the counselors and my peers for their support and helping me
find my healthy self.

                                        By: R. Watkins
                                      Adult Participant
                               Women’s Crossroads Program




                                                                                               48
I started the program on 5/20/08. I was mandated to complete this program. When I first came to
this program I really didn’t want to be here. I didn’t think this program would be any help to me
because I didn’t’ t believe my habit was really an addiction. I told myself I didn’t have a habit
and I would continue to smoke if I wanted even if I have to go to this program. I did continue to
smoke for about 2 months into the program. I was told by my case manager that if I didn’t stop
smoking I would be going into a long term program. I didn’t take that seriously due to
circumstances and situations that I was going through. I just wanted to avoid all problems in my
life that I was experiencing at that time. I was struggling with getting my kids back and trying to
maintain my outside life at the same time.

All of this was taking a toll on me at one point, so I said to myself there has to be a better way.
The only way it will get better is if I make it better. I did not share much with my peers or case
manager in the beginning. I started to see my peers maintaining sobriety and giving clean urines
and I wanted that to be me. I wanted my case manager’s praise and my peers were my inspiration
to do so. I was talking to my case manager about my plans for my future. She made me think
about what I want for my future. I know I want my kids and my own home. She said “ how are
you supposed to get to your goals when you are choosing the drug over your children”. From that
point on I stopped smoking. I have now met a number of my goals since then. It felt good to
know that someone really cared about the way I was living my life. I would like to say thank you
to my case manager for the inspiration and the courage to challenge me to change.

I have been clean since 7/24/08. I have worked on obtaining housing; I am in the
process of getting unsupervised visits with my kids; I have a possibility for employment;
I am improving my self esteem daily.

Since I have been sober, I recognize that I use drugs to avoid feelings and problems. I am
focused on regaining my children and working towards this goal every day. I have
become comfortable with the program, my peers and the staff.

I am ready to move to the next phase where I hope to strengthen my self-reliance by
finding employment, maintaining visits with my kids, and maintaining a positive outlook.

My goal is to finish what I started- I will see this program through to graduation.


                                        By: Anonymous
                                       Adult Participant
                               Women’s Crossroads Program




                                                                                                49
   The Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) is a leader in the field of community-
 based alternatives to incarceration. Our mission is to promote reintegrative justice and a
       reduced reliance on incarceration through advocacy, services and public policy
                            development in pursuit of civil and human rights.


         For more information on any of CCA’s programs, please visit our website at
                                    www.communityalternatives.org


39 West 19th St, 10th Floor          115 East Jefferson Street, Suite 300   25 Chapel Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10011                   Syracuse, NY 13202                     Brooklyn, NY 11201
T. 212.691.1911 F. 212.675.0825      T.315.422.5638 F.315.471.4924          T.718.858.9658 F.718.858.9670