Josa, age 13
What do you enjoy most about school and why?
Lunch, because that’s when all my friends get to take a break and hang out.
What would you change about school and why?
The class periods, how long they are. I would make them shorter. Like 30 minutes long. It’s shorter so the class isn’t long and gets boring. It’s a good time to learn and process things in shorter periods.
What are some of the hardest things you have to deal with?
A: Walking. My friends and I like to explore but we don’t have a car to drive us or people to take us around.
Who do you go to for advice?
Some of my closest friends.
Who do you trust more? Family or friends?
Friends. My friends treat me like family more. I love my mom, but she just doesn’t understand what I’m going through.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever gone through?
I got in trouble and had to go to court. I was really scared, and I felt really depressed and I was throwing up and getting sick. I felt like my life was so weird at that time.
Who do you look up to?
Kai Cenat, a YouTuber who inspires me. He makes a lot of videos and travels the world. I want to do that. I wish I was really rich like him and could donate to charity.
What are some of your goals?
I want to have enough money to buy my own house, but I want to buy my mom a house first. I want her to have a better life before I have a good life.
What’s your dream job?
I want to rap or sing.
What advice would you give someone going into middle school?
Your first year don’t be goofing around, I didn’t try my first year and got behind on my grades. Take it seriously so it’s not hard and you get behind.
What do you think the purpose of life is?
To succeed in life.
What is success?
When your life is better than average.
Do you think money = success?
Yeah…it depends on the career I guess.
Do you think if you have a lot of money and are sad you are successful?
If you’re living good yeah, but if not, I guess not.
Savana, age 18
Who is someone you look up to and why?
My great grandma, she’s always been there for me and I can always look up to her.
What do you enjoy most about coming to Siouxland YFC’s City Life Program?
The connections I make with the people there. I can trust the people here.
If you could re-do anything in life what would it be and why?
Not make so many mistakes, like criminal mistakes. I made a reputation of myself, I wasn’t thinking straight when I did it and I regret what I did now.
What is the purpose of life?
Everyone has a different purpose in life, I feel like mine is to help people. I want to be someone that people can always talk to, to trust me when they’re going through tough times, to be someone you don’t have to be scared of.
What is your dream job?
Math teaching. I enjoy math and working with kids.
Have you ever been bullied? How did you react to that?
Absolutely. I reacted badly, we got into an argument and fought. I felt sad, and mad in general when I was bullied.
How has your mindset changed since being bullied?
When I see someone getting bullied I step up and I’m not a bystander. When I see someone upset I stop and talk to them even if I don’t know them.
When have you felt most accomplished?
Graduating High School because I never thought I could.
Would you consider yourself “normal?” What is “normal?”
No, I’m not normal. I’m not scared to be who I am. I like to be weird. “Normal” means introverted and I’m outgoing.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you/ a time you felt special?
Asking to share my story live at Siouxland Youth for Christ’s event. I got to share my story and see everyone’s reaction and people came up and said my story moved them.