Now that school is back in session, students will be joining clubs and sports to spend their afternoons. During my school years, I was into neither. I joined things like detention and Saturday classes that only allowed me to stay discouraged at school. Then, I entered an after school counseling program. Saving myself from the depths of boredom and my mentality, my idle motivation.

After getting enrolled into APCC (Asian Pacific Community Counseling) , I couldn’t wait for Fridays! It was like an escape. I encouraged most of my friends to attend, making it even more satisfying. We had group conversations in topics of all sorts, ranging from school, home, relationships, drugs and everything else! Afterwards, you may play video games, use the computers or my favorite thing to do at the time; work out. This was the place where I created my very first, real mentor-mentored relationships.

When arriving, I would greet the group and my counselors. It feels weird calling them that because we never did have the stereotypical, television conversations. I talked to them like one of my closest friends. In return, they talked to me like goofy adults. They respected my words and never made me feel inferior or in other terms, like a child.

When they saw through me in times of sorrow or felt an urge to inspire me, they didn’t hesitate to comfort. Now that I’ve become older, I can understand that even during times I didn’t think they were guiding me, they led me like a stubborn lamb, slowly and permanently injecting morals and principles into me. I can say with certainty that my time at APCC has helped form me into who I am today.

Sadly, Chanton, Samedi and Mary don’t work there anymore. They made my high school days tolerable, and I thank them for that.

Find out more about APCC by following this link.