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What I'm Wearing: Blazer - Chaps, Shirt - Good Fellow, Jeans - Adam Levine Collection, Shoes - Good Fellow
We are finally at the halfway point of this story. Is it weird that it feels like forever since I started selling my soul to this 2nd diary. I reread all 52 pages within the last few weeks, what a journey it has been. All the highs evened out with the lows. I have enjoyed opening up about literally everything. I'm curious to see where this Summer of mine goes. Last year was a pretty depressing summer. Rereading my thoughts, really gave me the feels. But every single uplifting word that came out of my head and onto the keyboard, that really gave me clarity of what I want to do as an influencer, musician, activist, person, human. Within everything I do, I do it with love.
I have great mentors to thank for that. Thinking back to when I first entered the music industry, that was all my teacher's doing. Wally Hunt saw that I can do so much. I always believed it, but now I feel and see the importance of what he meant I could do. Sure, I was his star alto sax player, but he saw there was more to me. There was music in me, within that music was a voice. How I use that voice, well, it is up to me to do good or bad with it. I obviously love to do good. Growing up my parents set the example of giving back. The people who have come along the way and entered my life have shaped me into me. From my parents, to my teachers, I wouldn't have a platform to document my life's journey so far. I was lucky to have mentors who looked out for my best interests. I still have wonderful mentors within my loved ones and peers. I only hope that kids like my nephews and all the other boys and girls, get the love and support they need from a mentor of their own. That way when they grow up, they can choose how they share their voice, from the lessons they learned on their journey.
Jennifer Lee Quattrucci, known to her students as Mrs. Quattrucci, known to her kids as mommy, known to me as one of my best friends, mentors, sister from another mister, Jenny. I got to know Jenny over the last 2 years in a little instagram cult I was thrown into. In fact, majority of my friends and squad comes from this little group we created through an app. Believe it or not, Instagram can be a great place for networking. Jenny is one of the strongest woman I know. She has been there for me through every tear, every fear, every mental breakdown, over the last 2 years. Although she lives back east, she has become family, her whole family has. She is a devoted wife, loving mommy, and a phenomenal teacher. She loves her students with all her heart. You know how they say god made us in our own special way, to make an impact in our own special way, well, Jenny was born to be a teacher.
This woman is wise beyond her years and she was meant to be brought into her students lives to be their own Wally Hunt. Jenny teaches to 26 low income students in Providence, Rhode Island. As I continue to point out, people think it is all fine and dandy here in the United States. Wake up call, it is not. Can you believe Jenny had to create fundraisers via donorschoose.com, because her school district will not help pay for the supplies that her low income students desperately need. When i was in school, everything we needed was there. These kids didn't even have a desk to sit on. What do the people of higher power think the kids are gonna do? Sit on the floor? These kids are the next generation. Kids who have dreams and aspirations to be something better than the adults that deprive them of the necessities they need in order to learn and thrive , so that they can fulfill those dreams. I decided to write down my thoughts about this all, because these kids reminded me of a time when I was in a situation like this.
Not exactly like this, but I had a teacher fight for me too, fight for what was right. So that when I got to the age that I am now, I will be able to take the knowledge I learned and go follow my dream. Back when I was in 7th grade my school district said I could no longer participate in band. My grade in math was a C and I was not good at it, i'm still not good at it (lol). Anyways, that didn't sit well with Mr Hunt. I was his lead alto sax and they kicked me out of the class and put me in remedial math classes. First off, it was like a blow to my self confidence. How can you put someone with a C in a remedial Algebra class? I knew the basics of math, all you needed to do was give me a shot at getting the B I needed. The higher power didn't think I deserved a chance, so they locked me away and put me in these horrendous classrooms for 4 periods of math.
Mr. Hunt made sure I was surviving during this time. He went to the district and fought until he was able to make his case, that I deserve to be in his class, playing music and doing what I love. This was like this for 3 months. He and my algebra teacher, who was a saint as well, they both made sure, I not only got the B in algebra, but that I was able to be in band and explore my musical passion. If Mr Hunt didn't fight for me, I don't know if I would have made the choice to even have a desire to be in the music industry. Without that man who fought for me, I would have never made Time Is All i Have, Never moved to LA, Never taken the steps to Let The Music Be Your Guide, or be typing this out for MrDomBaza. His actions set the course of my journey. Jenny's actions will set the course for her students as they continue their journey.
There is something poetic about this being the halfway mark of a new story. It is a weird time to say, "what if". What if, Mr Hunt never fought for me, what if, Jenny didn't do these fundraisers. It gets you thinking about what kind of person these kids may grow up to be, what kind of person, I would have become. I am so honored that I had the chance to help these kids out in a tiny way. I know what it is like to struggle and, I may not know what these kids have to endure when they go home, but I do know what it is like to want a piece of happiness, to want to be in a safe haven. They go to see their favorite teacher 5 days a week, to dream in their safe haven that she has created.
It is so sad that the men and woman of higher power choose to deprive these needy children of their necessities for their safe haven. Are they in these kids shoes? No they are not. Jenny spends 5 days a week for 7 hours or more with these children. She has gotten to know them and know what they desire. She sees their potential, like Wally saw in me. Defying the judgment of the higher power, Jenny has pushed through. Jenny has fought and she has won. All but one of her fundraisers are now fully funded. The last one, that won't take long to get funded. I'm pretty sure someone will swoop in and save the day for Jenny and the kids. I hope things in this world get better, that way the generation of tomorrow won't have to be deprived of a place to explore their dreams and passions. I hope that one of these kids smiling in these beautiful pictures, my sister Jenny sent me, will one day have chance to write about their journey. Who know's maybe i'll be sitting here reading about them, like you read about me. It's all about the circle of life and the wheel of fortune. With beautiful souls like Jenny and Wally taking the leap of faith for their students, in time, there just may be hope after all.
52 pages ago, this story started out so grim. Even if i'm not the happiest version of myself, i'm at a place where I am happy enough to smile and feel a little ounce of hope. I look at my diary as a starting point of a place where I can speak out about things that need a voice, people that need a voice. I have one and i'm not gonna stop talking about issues that I may have, and the world may have. How do I feel at the halfway point of the year? Content. I feel content. Actually... I feel content and a little excited. I don't know where this journey is going. In 2 weeks my doctor could tell me I need surgery again, in 3 months I could be in a whole other location. I don't know what is going to happen. I guess I'm okay with that. It gives me a sense of optimism to hold on to, as we see how the rest of these pages unfold.
END OF: Chapter 6
Photographer: Joanna Wheeler
PS: Please you can still help these kids. Show them that you care. Help be a another Wally or Jenny to them. You see those smiles, they know someone loves and cares for them. Any amount helps.
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Every post I will include the song that inspired me to build a post around it's title
Stories From My Life - Chapter 6
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Stories From My Life
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