I am a Juvenile Corrections Officer VI. What that means is that I supervise 20 people over 3 shift. These 20 people are responsible for the welfare of 48 young men who have been adjudicated for crimes against society.
That was the official description. My REAL job is to be a role model for 48 kids who don't have a clue how to live. My job is to be a parent to them for the time they serve with me. Many of the kids call me "Momma Lee" or "Abuela" which is Spanish for Grandma.
Several years ago there was this young man named Jessie who was a resident of my facility. He was a real shit. Minimum length of stay at the facility is 9 months….he did nearly 2 years. Jessie always said he wanted to be a nurse. I encouraged him to get his education, because I knew he had the ability to be whoever, and whatever he wanted to become. While at the ranch he got his GED. Upon discharge he went home to a suburb of Ft Worth. He enrolled in a junior college and was on his way to being what he wanted to be. Then he met this girl…………
The girl immediately got pregnant and Jessie became the proud father of a beautiful baby girl. He kept in contact with me. He went to school and fought constantly with the psycho bitch who had given birth to his daughter.
He dropped out of college. He told me he had to take some time off. He was in his junior year at Texas Womens in Dallas. Please son…don't quit. But he took off and worked to support his child. I didn't hear from Jessie much during this period of time.
This week I got a phone call. Jessie had just completed his last day of college. Tomorrow night he will walk the stage. My boy is going to be a registered nurse. Today he called me to thank me for helping him when everyone else had given up. For believing in him when nobody else did.
Young men like Jessie….the ones who are making it….remind me of why I suit up and show up to a job that is sometimes full of heartache….to a job I love.
Thank you God for allowing me to witness the miracle of this change in a precious human being.