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DeTerrence's Story

DeTerrence — DT to his friends — grew up in a tough urban neighborhood surrounded by gang violence. His own mother is confined to a wheelchair, paralyzed by a stray bullet that struck her in her own front yard. Eventually this street violence would touch DT personally, as he was shot one day by gang members who attacked him as he returned home from the store. His future looked bleak. Join a gang. Maybe end up in ​prison. Likely end up in the morgue. But today DT is a happy, well-liked high school student and a young football star. Watch him tell the amazing story of his journey from deadly streets to a bright future.​

 

Read Video Transcript

DeTerrence: You could get jumped. You could get killed at any moment. A lot of my family are gang members. I haven't had a lot of friends who were a good role model to me, and stuff like that. I had to take my own route and go my own way, really, I never had a father so I would just say like the streets, you know, that's my Dad.

Me and three of my cousins walked up the street to the store and there were some dudes that we had seen and they walked away, so we went into the store. We bought some stuff from the store, and then we walked out, as well as the same two guys who had been following us, and so we just kept walking and then we heard a gun cocked. There were two guns and they started shooting at us. The ambulance came, my cousin got shot. I didn't know I was shot until I sat down. There was a puddle of blood, and so that's when I figured it out.

It was a family gathering. My mom got shot and paralyzed from the incident.

DeTerrence's Mother: It's a struggle, because like I said they're in a structure with no father figure and all that's going on around us, the shooting, and I lost a niece in a drive by. I lost a cousin; he got shot getting off his bus, going home. So right now I'm just trying to keep him close and help him through this time.

Miss Gina: When I first met DT, he was on house arrest. I didn't know what house arrest meant, but I learned a lot. Those were some dark times.

Sarah: DT arrived to Boys Town in November. At the beginning he struggled with the structure of Boys Town.

DeTerrence: When I first got here I had trouble with accepting feedback and stuff from a male figure. I had trouble with that my whole life, and things like that. Boys Town helped me with it.

DeTerrence's Mother: He has grown into an awesome young man from where he started at to now, I have no regrets. I love Boys Town. They really put it in him what I was trying to put in him.

Miss Gina: I've always believed in you and I'll always believe in you, no matter what. I know we sit here today at Boys Town and we look ahead to what you see in your future and where you've come from. Now you'll have an opportunity to share this with others and I'm so proud of you.

DeTerrence: When I was at home, I just wanted to survive, and now I'm doing more than survive. You can do anything that you put your mind to.

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