At 12 years old I was arrested for committing a burglary with two of my best friends. I remember sitting in the back of the police car and the officer telling me, “I was hoping you’d run. I wanted to release my dog on you.” My father met me at the police station and his eyes were filled with tears. He had come to this country all the way from Jamaica looking for a better place to have and then raise kids. But I had failed him. I had turned into everything he worked so hard for me to not become.
Luckily, because this was my first offense, I was given an opportunity to enter into a diversionary program by the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. This is where I would meet a judge that would go on to change my life. He looked at my report card, and asked me, “What the f*ck are you doing here? You’re extremely smart and can be whatever you want to be in life.” After he said this, I remember immediately thinking that I wanted to be like him. I wanted to be a lawyer.
Ever since that day, I did every single thing with the idea in mind of later becoming a lawyer. Fast forward 15 years, and I started my first legal job as a prosecutor. I began working at the Broward County State Attorney’s Office – the very office that enrolled me into a diversion program as a 12 year old boy. While working at the State Attorney’s Office, I was then able to work with children and extend them the second chance that I had previously received.