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Question Zero - Graduate Spotlight

Damonte, Boston ‘14

Before MTW, I was charged with possession of a firearm and was in prison for 6 months. Before getting locked up I was young, I was living for right now and not thinking about the future.  When I got out of jail, I set 4 goals for myself : get a job, get back in school, get my learner’s permit and, get my license.  More Than Words helped me with all of those things. When I walked into MTW, I was expected to communicate and make positive relationships. I had to find a way to learn to leave it at the door and start to adapt to this new environment because the life I was living was not going to move me forward. I thought about my goals – being an adult, having a family – what was I going to do?  After one month, I lost my spot at MTW because of attendance issues and honestly, I wasn’t sure how to trust people. I took some time to really think about what I could commit to, and fortunately, I was able to earn my position back on the team and show I was dedicated. When I came back, I had to get serious, show that I wanted to be here and try to excel in the program. It wasn’t easy, but I had to really sit back and look at the long run. Overall, the greatest thing I got from MTW was being able to take constructive criticism and feedback. It helped me hold myself accountable for my actions which is something I never did before. When I was at MTW, I built my confidence. I’ve learned to advocate for myself and feel empowered to achieve my goals. I also know how to interact with others in a positive way. Since I’ve graduated, MTW has continued to reach out to me monthly and support me with my job search and attaining my education goals. I am currently working part time and in the process of earning my GED/HiSET so I can go to Trade School. Overall, I’ve learned that no matter where you come from or what you’ve done there’s always room for improvement. Two years ago, I didn’t think about my future and lived day by day. Now, I have goals and know I can achieve whatever I put my mind to.

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