Diving deep again with the youths at Argus in the second part of this interview series we get a better idea of where they come from and where they want to go.
We asked the same questions to a group of youths and got different answers from each one. Here's what they had to say...
When asked to describe their lives in a few sentences or less, the answers varied from one word answers to insightful reflections.
"I have been through a lot but not enough."
"I have a son who I love very much, and I would like my son to live with me and my girlfriend."
"I had a rough life in the past but since I came here, things have gotten a lot better. I’m going to college in a year and my future looks clearer and brighter now that the storms have passed. "
"I have experienced a few things…a death and how to overcome that, and how to respect and love myself. "
One can only imagine what life must have been like for these youths, but we can all relate on some level to them as we have all gone through hard times at some point or another in our lives. But impressively enough they stand in a positive light, not allowing their harsh pasts limit who they are or what they can be.
In the next question we analyze how they are beginning to define themselves anew by asking:
If there is one thing you’d want people to know about you what would it be?
"I have accomplished many things in my life and I have bettered myself as a person. I will continue to succeed."
"I love to sing, rap and dance."
"I am extremely passionate about piano, reading and paleontology. "
"I would want them to know that I am a very clever, creative and athletic person, yet I do remain humble."
You don`t get to where you want by looking back, and from these answers you can see and feel their forward momentum. There is so much passion and potential within these young people to make something of themselves, all that is required is the opportunity. Could Hip Hop Candyfest be the beginning of what might be a great opportunity for youths like this?
Has music been a positive influence in your life? And if so, how?
If you`re still unsure of the healing effects of music, just listen to what these bright young minds had to say about it.
"Yes, music has helped me obtain better knowledge of our world. It also gave me a greater general knowledge."
"The particular style of underground hip hop from 1992-2000 has taught me a lot because I listen to music with meaning and metaphors."
"Yes!! I am going into music. Piano is my therapy. I sing to help me feel comfortable and to fill the void around me. I play piano to get my emotions out and to calm my OCPD."
"Yes, I write my own music and play guitar."
The trend is becoming clearer with every interview, music really can do a lot for a person. Whether it`s for fun, for release, or to exercise creativity, the potentials of what we can do with it are endless.
How has Argus Residence helped you?
The Argus residence was established in 1985 and has provided shelter for homeless youths between the ages of 16-24 ever since. Today, Argus operates two 24 hour shelter locations; a 10-bed shelter for youth identifying as female and a 10-bed shelter for youth identifying as male. Take a look first hand at what the residents of Argus have to say about it.
"Argus has showed me a lot of love and care. The staff has treated me with the utmost respect. Argus has opened my eyes and just being here makes me want to pursue a career in Social Services."
"The staff are really friendly and make me feel comfortable and they help me by giving me the best resources to deal with my anxiety. Argus is a safe and secure place to live in the moment."
"Argus provided me with a safe and friendly environment. The staff are really friendly and fun to be with. Also, there is a lot of structure. Something that I didn’t have at home. "
"For the first time in my life, my father has no control over me. I no longer need to tip toe around my home worrying about his anger control issues. I have learned more about my generation and I have been able to talk about some things freely. I am not worried that my father will degrade me for what I say, sing or do. I am learning that I am better at reading and reacting to people than I thought."
When a cause like this gets a response like that, you know they`re doing something right. We at the Candy Funhouse want to encourage and nurture this honorable mission and as co-partners of Hip Hop CandyFest we proudly support the work of Argus Residence.