Your gift may get you there, but it takes character to keep you there.
I grew up in Polo Grounds Towers - Harlem, New York.
I faced many obstacles in my youthful years. I was raised in a single parent household by my grandmother. My father had left my mom, my brothers and I. So throughout the years I felt I had no one to teach me how to be a man.
I've been part of Crossover for about 5 years now. My first Crossover Project encounter was through Jacqeem Council who introduced me to Todd Aman. Once I met Todd he then introduced me to Pete Paoli, another great member of the Crossover team. Without meeting these inspirational people I probably would have been on a declining slope. Crossover really impacted my life because Jacqeem showed me that there are some guys out there that want to help the youth out here. I felt that I was walking alone with no guidance. Once I got around these good people it showed me a light to the path I needed to follow.
Right now I am working for Good Shepard Services as a group leader. I work with middle school children now. I feel that working with kids is my passion. With that being said I want to make a difference in a child's life like crossover did for me. I was once that kid that felt that no one was there to help me until Crossover came into my life. So I will definitely do the same for another child. Crossover lives through me and I will forever spread it.
I grew up in Ulster Park, New York.
I faced many obstacles in my childhood. The biggest obstacle that I faced was the death of my parents. I was only 11 years old by the time both of my parents were deceased. I dealt with depression and suicidal ideation. I was hopeless and angry at God for "taking my parents away from me."
I have been part of Crossover for three years. It has had a great impact on my life. Crossover has shown me that this life is clearly not about me and that I was created for God's purposes and not my own. I learned that I need to be slow to speak and quick to listen because people are hurting and eagerly waiting for me to manifest God. Humility is something I embrace more and more. There is no “I” in team and the unity of community is vital in order to bring radical change to a neighborhood and city. I am full of hope and eager to share it with people more and more.
I'm living at home still, currently working as a produce clerk at ShopRite supermarkets and attending a SUNY college. I'm a table leader at a mid week church service at Changepoint Church and learning how to become a leader of a youth-led group. I haven't had the opportunity to but I would love to work on a Hip Hop album/mixtape with my friend.
I grew up in Harlem, NY.
Although I did not face too many obstacles, I did grow up in a bad neighborhood and had to figure out what the right thing was to stay away from the wrong things.
I have been part of Crossover since I was 16 and it has provided me with a group of people who are dedicated to helping young people become better in life.
I am currently in my second year at Hostos Community College playing for the basketball team and about to attain my associate degree.
Joc is one of the most influential people I've ever met in my life. I always felt like Joc believed in me when no one else did. When people said I would never play college basketball, Joc was the only person who said he could see me playing. Now that I am playing college basketball, I owe a lot of it to Joc. He would always tell me my game was getting better even when I couldn't see the change in my game. Whenever I had an issue while playing for my school, Joc would give me the right answer even if it wasn't what I wanted to do, and nine times out of ten it would work.
Not only has Joc helped me with basketball, but he has also helped me with life decisions. When Joc started Crossover, he introduced me to Pete and Todd who are two of the nicest people I've ever met in my life. They are two gentlemen that genuinely want to help the kids in my community in any way possible. Whether it be school or work, they want to help us.
Coming from where I come from, there are not many people who want to do that for us. Growing up in the Polo Grounds has not been easy. You really have to fend for yourself because people don't always want to see you shine, especially if you're not benefiting them. The Crossover Project gives us a chance to get away from our problems and to play the sport we all love to play. Crossover speaks about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, how much He loves us, and how He wants to have a relationship with us. Without Joc and Crossover, I don't think I would of stayed on the right path.