Lamont Peyton, Mentor
I was born on a warm, sunny day in September in Crisfield, Maryland. Unlike most of my friends I had both my parents, but for all the love I received...the pull of the streets was just stronger.
In school I started hanging out with the wrong people, and before long I was skipping school. I started smoking weed and drinking with my friends. That's what got me evidently by the time I was in my twenties, I was getting a lot of jobs but not keeping any, and you know what they say, if you're not working on something, something will always be working on you.
And that's what happened. I started getting arrested for petty stuff. From 1989 to 2010 I had at least one run in with the law every single year. For 21 years- My family tried to support me through it all.
They would make several interventions in my life through being referred to programs, but I just couldn't see the blessings of these attempts. I was stuck in the fog of addiction until 2010. I'd become a bit of a drug connoisseur by then; I completely spiraled out of control. I had stopped checking in with my family altogether. My family would scan the local papers for unclaimed bodies, thinking that one day I show up.
During my escapade of destruction. I found out that my mom had passed away and that was the turning point in my life. I called my family up and stated to them that I would not come back around until I get my life together. I thought to myself you're 44 years old, and you have nothing. I became sick of all the police contact, all the heartache. The next day I put myself into a dynamic program. From day one of my arrival I was introduced to great people whom were beacons of hope and simple motivators through their actions. I wanted to be like them, calm, cool, collected, and trustworthy. I started to commit to it.
I took advantage of everything I could. I eventually got a job in the food service in the Bronx, however, the company downsized and I was laid off. There was a moment to fall apart, but I didn't. I always wanted to be a Substance Abuse Counselor. So I was connected with a outpatient program for an internship, as an Intake Coordinator.
If there is one piece of advice that I can give you it's- "Sometimes opportunity presents itself as a crisis. " I continue to emulate the concept of leading by example. Everything I advise my clients to do I live by the same principles.
All in all, Stay focused and believe in yourself because you can do it.