A letter to my Fifteen Year Old Self

Posted: July 18, 2013 in Ismael Cedeno

As a young man of color you will have a lot of obstacles you will have to get around to reach any goal you may have in mind. In society, you are expected to make one bad judgment call that will result in you doing prison time. Keep your eyes on your education and block out the negativity around you. The negatives are the hood you live in Ismael, the friends you are choosing to keep around you and the drama in your home. Think about other places you can hang out in to keep your focus, like the library or a coffee shop where there is peace and quiet and you can hear your thoughts and reflect on the progress you have made and what progress is needed for you to move forward. Start to get involved in any events or clubs that will open up doors of opportunity for networking. The people you meet just may be the people you need to keep around you to reach your goals. Giving up on your ambitions is not an option!!! Men of color in this country are getting pipe lined to prison and you don’t want to become one of those statistics.

You may think hearing your thoughts is strange but when I want to hear my thoughts I just shut my phone off so I don’t have any distractions and I look for the nearest Starbucks or library to chill in because it is quiet. Remember it is not good to have any company during this process, you need to be alone. There are positive thoughts and negative thoughts. In my opinion your positive thoughts are what you need to do and your negative thoughts are what you want to do keep that in mind Ismael. Oh! And don’t think I don’t know that you like messing around with girls, I know about that age. When it comes to girls you need to be around the ones who have ambitions in reaching their goals, like graduating from high school, college and having a career. As you are going to school you have a part job don’t forget money attracts the girls you want but your struggles and hard work will attract the girl you need.

Thoughts such as you need to have fresh gear, you can’t be seen with your mom or you can’t chill with people that are considered geeks or over achievers are thoughts you should never listen to. That is negative way of thinking don’t let it hinder your progress.

  1. Liam says:

    Thanks for the contribution, Ismael. Plenty of solid advice for any 15 year old here, and you’re right to say that it is particularly important for young African American males. There really is a pipe line to prison in this country, and advice like this could help poke holes in it.

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