​I can’t explain how painful it is. Losing my grandmother was like losing a part of me. She was the only one to cheer me on with things I cared about, like skateboarding. Now, she is gone. It is my first experience with death, and I didn’t know how to take it. For about a year I stopped skateboarding. I stopped a lot of things, actually. I stopped studying, and my grades dropped to a C average. Everyone seemed to notice that I wasn’t doing well. I mean, a lot of people seemed to care, but the only problem was, I didn’t care. There was no denying it, I was depressed.


And you [Brandon] gave me a new sense of purpose when you spoke at my school. I remember during your speech you said, “To get to the good things you have to go through that hard things.” That really triggered something inside of me. I went through something bad, but now it taught me to make the most of my life. Now, I want to help my community and friends. I want to do something good with me life. I realized that my grandma would want me to pursue great things in life. She would want me to be happy.


I’m “Owning It,” and I’m back on my skateboard and getting good grades. I want other students to know that you can make good things come from bad things. It’s not easy. It takes time and some support from friends and adults, but it’s worth it.



(Own It Stories are submitted by real people and edited into a final story with approval from original author.)




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