Dad, I’m Okay

Dad, I’m Okay

Dad, i’m okay

afraid of judgement

By /u/dad_i_am_okay of Reddit

Dad, I’m sorry.

All I said was, “It’s actually not that bad here.” It was a very tinny telephone, so maybe you didn’t quite understand: all I meant was that I liked the hot food, the central heating, and the luxury of a lumpy bed that wasn’t by the side of the road. I meant, “Don’t worry, Dad, it’s not like the movies.” I wanted you to know that I wasn’t about to be shanked. But I guess you heard “I like being in juvie,” so you went nuts.

Dad, if you had asked me over the phone why I did it, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t know how to explain the hole inside me. Why did I steal that car and put two thousand miles on it? Well, why do people swim? Because we love the water? No. Because we don’t want to drown. And in our hometown, I was drowning, Dad.

It was never about the car, really. The car was just–there. A convenience. And I never really cared about where I was going. All directions were away.

When you flew two thousand miles to retrieve me from juvenile detention, you were worried that this was the start of the end. That some integral part of me had been knocked askew–that next it would be drugs, or older men, or stripping. And I don’t blame you. What were you supposed to think? Your respectful, obedient, introverted, straight-A daughter, who was a virgin and had never tried drugs in her life, who did the dishes every night without complaint, had become a felon literally overnight. Christ, you probably thought I’d gotten brain damage!

 

In retrospect, hey, maybe I was a little brain damaged. Dad, do you know what my greatest worry was that day? My hair. Juvenile detention doesn’t allow hair dryers, you see, and if I don’t blow dry my hair it gets frizzy. While you worried that I was going to start a career in prostitution, I worried that the other inmates thought I was ugly.

Consider all I have done since. I graduated high school as a valedictorian. I have a full ride in college. I still get straight A’s. I’m graduating without debt. I’ve won a prestigious internship. But I am afraid that when you look at me, all you see is a teenager in an ugly orange uniform and frizzy, frizzy hair.

Please look at me, Dad.

I used to think that the worst thing I’ve ever done was running away or stealing that car. Then I thought it was enjoying being caught, because surely I was meant to be suffering in juvie, wasn’t I? But now, I think the very worst thing I’ve ever done was hang up that phone.

So Dad, I’m sorry. Every time I look at you, or hear your voice, or think about you, I am back on the other end of a telephone line, unable to explain to you that I am going to be okay. And I’m sorry if every time you think about me, you still wonder whether I have a screw loose or something.

I’m okay, Dad. But I’m sorry–I just don’t know how to explain that to you.

Letter from Dad

[dad_i_am_okay], I hope you’re settling in to college life and don’t miss [pet’s name], Mom, & the rest of us too much. You are SO capable and can do anything you set your mind to!! Work hard & have fun!!

Love, Dad.

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LYE and Kida The Great team up to Inspire Memphis Youth

LYE and Kida The Great team up to Inspire Memphis Youth

LYE and Kida The Great team up to Inspire Memphis Youth

Justin Flowers | Contributor

[A /]

4

JULY, 2017

Young Voices

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Greatness can be found all over this city. It makes me so happy to see young ones giving back to the community. Especially here in Memphis, Tennessee. A few day ago JustMy got an invite to attend a dancing event that was hosted by Ladia Yates (professional dancer).

Alongside highlighting her students at LYE Academy, Kida The Great came in town to show some love to the city. Despite having some bigtime booking offers, Kida decided he wanted to come from California to Memphis, Tennessee to see these young dancers. Helping them to stay inspired to chase their dreams to become professional dancers themselves.

Meet Ladia Yates

So let’s highlight the night. Ladia had this event set up nice. The venue was set up with a cool backdrop for photos. There were spaces for local vendors to come out and promote their businesses as well. My favorite was the 8 year old girl who owns her own lemonade business. This wasn’t just a regular lemonade stand we are used to seeing in the neighborhoods. No, she had an actual lemonade BUSINESS making fresh lemonade drinks for her clients along with other real fruit options. That was truly a great and inspiring thing to witness. From those at JustMy, we really want to wish her the best.

Alright, now, back to the rest of the event. The whole evening was mainly centered around a dance battle, which was AWESOME. Dancers came from all over to participate in this battle. There were local Memphis dancers and some from Alabama, and even Florida. So this was a big thing for these amazingly talented people. In between the breaks in the tournament, Ladia gave us the privilege to witness the positive impact she has had on the youth here in Memphis. We all got a chance to see what the young ones had to show us. The dance routines made everyone so proud. They truly are future stars straight out of Memphis.

Kida the Great

They truly are future stars straight out of Memphis

The Youth of LYE

We also got to see other dance teams perform who came in from out of town to add to the positive energy radiating from the building. Kida The Great even got on stage and danced with LYE. He also did a dance solo for everyone. While watching him dance you could really see the passion, confidence, and great energy that came from his every move. Which was the case with everyone else who performed. At the end of it all, trophies were handed out to reward the top two dancers in the competition. Then afterwards, they allotted some time for people to get pictures with Kida.

- Get ready for the Memphis Caribbean Jerk Festival -

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Justin G. Flowers

Justin G. Flowers

Justin G. Flowers, a Sickle Cell (SC) Consumer, is a dynamite advocate for those living with Sickle Cell across the nation. He dedicates his career to spreading awareness, educating, and help people realize that is possible to live well with Sickle Cell. Therefore, breaking the Sickle Cycle!

 

In all, that night was very nice! From everyone at JustMy, we want to thank Ladia Yates and LYE Academy for the invite! Who knows, maybe next time we will get on stage and show everyone how we get down here (jokes). Again, what a great night, and we look forward to attending more things these amazing people put together for the community.

Click to learn more about LYE Academy

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Willow Oaks 5th Grade Promo Ceremony

Willow Oaks 5th Grade Promo Ceremony

Willow Oaks 5th grade promo Ceremony

Willow Oaks | Contributor

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MAY, 2017

Young Voices

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Fifth graders at Willow Oaks Elementary celebrated their transition from elementary to middle school today with a promotional ceremony. Students welcomed guests, recited original poetry, and performed a musical number to Pharrell’s “Happy”. Additionally, every spoken part was given in English and in Spanish.

Jerome Robinson of JustMyMemphis was the guest speaker. He encouraged students to make a daily decisions to be amazing, to begin each day with the intention of doing their very best.  Josephine Leatherwood who is retiring after more than 35 years of teaching was the Guest of Honor. Students and teachers paid tribute to Ms. Leatherwood with poetry, flowers, and gifts.

Mayor Jim Strickland spends time with the students of Willow Oaks Elementary.

Students received an exciting surprise at the end of the ceremony — a visit from Mayor Strickland! Mayor Strickland visited with students and parents, offering congratulations, encouragement, and many photo opportunities.

JustMyMemphis Founder Jerome Robinson served as the Guest Speaker.

SPOTLIGHT

The Learning Garden  Willow Oaks learning garden is an outdoor classroom funded by The Kitchen Community. The garden gives students an opportunity to grow healthy foods from start to finish, while studying the germination process.  Students explained to Mayor Strickland how they prune, water, and harvest the vegetables.  The students pointed out the various plants they are growing to the Mayor which include:  kale, swiss chard, mint, basil, and lettuce.

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Girls in Leadership Summer Camp

Girls in Leadership Summer Camp

Girls in Leadership
Tracey  Ford

2

MAY, 2017

Events
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What:
Leadership Camp for Girls

When:
6/20/2017 8:30
6/22/2017 12:30

Where:
1740 Ridgeway Road
Memphis, TN 38119
(901) 2145450

Cost: $35 per session
Both sessions are the same content.
www.hutchisoncfe.campmanagement.com/campers

For girls entering grades 8-10
Hone your creativity as you build your brand, explore your growth mindset, and find your purpose in this camp designed for you.

Date/Time: Tuesday-Thursday, 8:30 am-12:30 pm
Session I: June 20-22
Session II: June 27-29
Instructor: Erika Cain (Girl24 Movement founder)

About Hutchison School

Hutchison is dedicated to academic excellence and to the parallel development of mind, body, and spirit as it educates young women for success in college and for lives of integrity and responsible citizenship.

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Tracey Ford

Tracey Ford

Fine Arts and CFE Director | Hutchison School

Tracey Zerwig Ford serves as both the Fine Arts Director and the Center for Excellence Director. Before joining Hutchison, Ms. Ford served as the Artistic Director of the Arts Memphis Center for Arts Education. She has commissioned works from all major arts groups in the Memphis area, trained artists of all disciplines, and visited classrooms through Lincoln Center’s prestigious Aesthetic Education Institute. Ms. Ford has performed professionally in New York, Illinois, Minnesota, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Missouri. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Lindenwood University and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Western Illinois University.

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March of Dimes

March of Dimes

March of Dimes
Christopher Wilson | Contributor

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20
APRIL, 2017
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The March of Dimes organization was one that not only informed me of all that they do, but took my perspective of infants to a different level. From the visual of the type of diapers pre-mature babies have to wear to the statistics about infant mortality, the reality of having a baby is not as easy as it seems to be.
While talking with the Executive Director of March of Dimes here in Memphis, Rosa Potts told me the three things that they were big on: pre-mature babies, also known as “preemies”, infant mortality, and birth defects. They also aid mothers in receiving the pre-natal and postpartum care that they need in order to ensure that their child will be born healthy.

March of Dimes was founded by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was dealing with polio at the time. Polio was a type of crippling disease that was prominent back in the 20th Century, but it now does not affect anyone anymore because of the polio vaccine that has saved millions of people’s lives. President Roosevelt gave March of Dimes its name because of the many Americans that helped donate to the cause. Along with these successes, March of Dimes has had many breakthroughs in their research for certain things and has had many discoveries with babies. One of the most common discoveries would be that a mother cannot drink alcohol while pregnant because it can cause birth defects for the child.

the one thing that made me want to volunteer with March of Dimes was the zeal they had behind everything.

One event that the March of Dimes hosts annually would be its March for Babies event, where people are able to participate in the walk and in the other activities as well. I was given the opportunity to attend one of the logistical committee meeting’s for the March for Babies event and noticed that there were teens, like myself, at the meeting, receiving their assignments for this event. Some teens were given the assignment of supervising the little kids walk while others were over the registration tables or over the set-up and break-down committees. Altogether, these people were about their business and the one thing that made me want to volunteer with March of Dimes was the zeal they had behind everything.

Also, at the meeting, I learned that majority of the people in attendance was either a preemie or had a family member that was one and hearing those different stories about the severity of pre-mature birth truly was something to ponder about. This is why March of Dimes hosts special events, like March for Babies, to not only gain the finances they need to help families across the nation, but also to remind families to be grateful of their little ones.
Christopher Wilson

Christopher Wilson

Student and Writer | Overton High School

I see myself in the near future pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems at a prestigious
university and being a New York Times best-selling author of my own novel series.

March for Babies
Date: Saturday, May 06, 2017
Registration: 8:00AM | Start: 9:00 AM
Walk distance: 2.5 miles
Shelby Farms Park
6903 Great View Drive North
Memphis, TN 38120
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Are you hosting a Summer Camp?

Are you hosting a Summer Camp?

Are you hosting a Summer Camp?

RahLeeCoh J. Ishakarah | Contributor

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13

APRIL, 2017

Young Voices

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JustMyMemphis wants to help families find the best activities of summer. There are only about 5 weeks left before school is out!

If you have a group or an organization that is hosting a summer camp for kids, we want to help you get the word out. There is no cost to your organization. Just fill out the form below and we will get things started for you!

Summer camps are known for providing a safe environment where children gain self-confidence as they learn new skills.

Summer Camp Support from JustMyMemphis includes:

  • An article on JustMyMemphis with your story, your images, and registration links
  • Young Voice Summer Camp Spotlight: Let your kids write about and share what they learn over the summer
  • Social Network sharing of your camp

Optional Summer Camp Features

  • Social Sharing video to promote your camp on Facebook and Instagram
  • Camp website with online registration
  • Camp T-Shirts

Benefits of Summer Camps include: Kids experience success and become more confident, gain resiliency, develop life-long skills, and grow more independent.

RahLeeCoh J. Ishakarah

RahLeeCoh J. Ishakarah

Artist, Model, PR Guy | JustMyMemphis

RLC art
Memphis TN, 38107
(901) 896-5266
http://rahleecohart.tumblr.com/

Please share this with anyone hosting a camp for kids and help us make this a great summer for children of the MidSouth. Please submit this form by 04.21.2017

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