Stay Focused Stay Free Tip #9

Support Your Children

Not to throw shade at my mother, but she never supported me. For example, I wanted to play football in high school. When I was younger, I played recreational football. I was a great wide-receiver and my team won the 2000 Junior League Football Championship. I wanted to relive that joyful moment, and further my success in the sport I love, second behind soccer.

Unfortunately my mother refused to sign the school’s consent form. “I don’t want you to play football,” she said.

The incident was one of my many positive, fun desires that my mother didn’t support. As a result, I had developed an unhealthy attitude: “I don’t need anyone; I can do it by myself.”

Stay Focused Stay Free Tip #8

Secure Your Guns

According to a Virginia Chief of Police, there was an alarming rise in gun thefts in 2021. Richmond police chief said that out of all the firearms seized, half of them were reported stolen. However, the most disturbing news isn’t the increase in gun thefts; it’s the people who are getting caught with these stolen firearms–minors.

In the capital of Virginia, minors were the primary suspects in the gun theft. Most of those guns were used in violent crimes. Is it true that our kids are behind the gun violence in our community?

Whether you want to beieve it or not, our youth are stealing guns and using them in acts of violence. This is not good and it has to stop. If you own a gun, please keep it in a secured location. A safe, for example, is a great place. The more your firearm is secured, the less access gun thieves have to it.

The goal is to prevent future gun thefts which will help decrease gun violence. We all have a role to play; do your part!

The Uncut Truth, Volume 3

Prison is a dark place filled with negativity. Because of the world’s general perception of criminals, most belittled prisoners are insecure and full of doubt. With a mentality like that, the idea of a convicted felon trying to become a politician is impossible.

Once I am released and my civil rights are restored, I plan to run for city council.

In short, I want to lead my community and make it a greater sector of the United States of America. After learning from my reckless mistakes and investing in myself, I know I have what it takes to help protect and benefit citizens. I understand what the people want–security, peace, and happiness.

Stay Focused Stay Free Tip #7

Sex Ed

When I was a child, I was more sexually advanced than my peers. With late night access to HBO/Cinemax, the exposure of pornography and sex fed my curiosity. At 12-yeard old, the only things my friends and I talked about was girls and sex. By the time I was 15-years old, I was a father.

The authority in my life–who were mostly women–didn’t really have much to say to me about my inappropriate actions. I guess they didn’t know what to say. “If you get a girl pregnant, the money I care of you with is going to that baby,” was what my mother repeated. Other than that, my sex life began way too early with no sense of responsibility.

The Uncut Truth, Volume 2

In my opinion, good music is good music. I don’t care what genre it is, you can’t deny good music. Think about it, what is music? It’s a combination of rhythm, instruments, and words of expression. However it’s played whenever it’s on music has the power to cultivate you.

I was raised on hip hop, rock, pop, R&B, reggae, and gospel. As I grew older with an open mind, I appreciated country music. When I learned about my Hispanic heritage, I was introduced to reggaeton and bachata–which I love by the way. I never could catch a blue grass song I liked, but I did give it a chance.

Being a College Tutor

When I think about the word reflection, I imagine myself standing in front of my mirror looking at the background. What’s behind me is a clear, simple, and vivid view of what it is. I’m in the middle of it.

In my opinion, the definition of reflection is when a person thinks back to what he or she has done–that is, lived. According to Merriam-Webster, the word reflection is also related to learning. There are several reasons why I agree: it’s a way to explore what you’ve experienced; it’s a chance to acquire knowledge of self; and it helps you understand something you may have missed in real time. To say the least, reflection is how human-being grow and comprehend life.

Stay Focused Stay Free Tip #6

Let’s Talk!

When I was 16-yeard old, I had brought a gun home that I was holding for a friend. I didn’t want the gun to find itself in my mother’s hands, so I hid it underneath one of the living room’s sofas. Trying to be cool, I told my uncle about the gun. I showed it to him and I told him where I was hiding it.

The next day after school I walked into a surprise. “What are you doing with this?” my mother asked sternly. It was more of a you know you’re going to be punished rather than an ask. Feeling betrayed by my uncle I felt hurt without a voice. My mother enforced guilt and punishment. Somehow I retrieved my friend’s gun an the real issue was never resolved.

Stay Focused Stay Free Tip #5

Ghost Guns

The parents of a Georgia teen are counting their blessings. A 13-year old boy purchased untraceable gun parts by shopping for “ghost guns” online. Without difficulty he put the gun parts together, then accidentally shot his sister. Although his sister survived, a family could’ve lost a loved one.

Recently another teenage boy got access to guns using a similar website. However instead of accidentally shooting someone, this child became an illegal gun retailer. How disturbing! A child bought gun materials online, learned how to put them together, and sold untraceable “ghost guns” to local street buyers.

The Un-Cut Truth, Volume 1

To say that I’ve been a model inmate my entire incarceration would suggest that I changed the moment I stepped into prison. We all know that isn’t true. Becoming an aspiring children’s author didn’t happen overnight; it was a long, hard process.

After accepting responsibility for my wrong actions, I learned how to work on my former distorted ways of thinking. Without me making the foolish mistakes I made in the past, I wouldn’t have been able to make positive choices today.

This part of my life’s journey is what makes Taquan Makes a Choice series so unique and realistic. Because I was once that little, lost boy who made bad decisions; however, I am now a bigger, found man who can help little lost kids made good decisions.

Kalih’s Way

“Am I wrong for being concerned about the safety of a child?”

I was shocked at what a 29-year old mother had said to me. After hearing about her son’s suspension I asked Shae how her son, Kalih, was doing. I was worried about the well-being of his mental health. “You’re always worried about the kids…that’s all you want to talk about,” were Shae’s negative words. It was unbelievable.