I made it! Yes, I made it.
I am the offspring of a single parent. I live on the South Side of Chicago and I recently graduated from a public high school-- with my virginity intact. Yes, I'm a 17-year-old virgin!
Statistics would dictate that with my background, I would have been sexually active since about my freshman year, had a number of sex partners and even had a baby or an abortion by this time in my life. Thank God I know I have the power to beat the odds.
Yes, guys try to talk to me all the time. But when I tell them that I'm abstinent and waiting until marriage--they get to steppin'. And that's okay. Any guy who I would want to be friends with would want the very best for me and I for him. I wouldn't want to jeopardize someone's future for a few minutes of "horozontal hoochie." If a guy would put my future on the line for the same, he obviously is not the one for me.
Oh, it hasn't been easy. Teens want to fit in. We want to have friends. We want people to like us. But what price are we willing to pay? I had to pay. I wasn't part of the "in" crowd during the past four years. I could count the number of close friends on one hand and still have five fingers left over. Classmates may not have liked me--but they respected me.
My senior year was a wonderful year, despite the toll that comes with standing on what I believe. In September, I spent a week in Washington, DC speaking to high school and junior high students about abstienence. I continued speaking engagemnts across the Chicagoland area. The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic selected me to be part of their 2007 All-Star Student Jazz Combo and the group opened for jazz vocalist Kurt Elling at the Auditorium Theatre. I formed my own jazz ensemble, Just Friends, and we have been getting gigs at different events. In the fall, I am going to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on a full-tuition scholarship.
I'm looking forward to moving on to the next level. I know college will present new challenges academically, emotionally and socially! For the past 17 years I've been taking baby steps to get to this point in my life and now I'm ready to stand on my own. I know I can make it. I'm movin' on up to live my destiny.