The journey of the changes, for good and bad that I have gained and lost, as I continue to grow up.

I grew up on the streets of Jane and Finch and moved when I was 10 years old. I've seen and experienced street violence. We still visited when we could.
On September 16th 2008, my family had got a call… Junior was shot 3 times and died on a basketball court surrounded by town homes and families. This news changed my life.
Someone mentioned that writing about it may help.

September 18th 2008
I can't believe my brother's dead. I can't believe Junior isn't coming back. I remember the last time I spoke him. I never got to say bye or kiss him or anything. I can't stop crying. I feel alone now. First, Daddy leaves and now Junior. The two people in my family that I relate to the most. He never got to see me grow up. He never even got to do anything with his life. He was only 18. I just want my brother back.

October 5th 2008
Today we laid Junior to rest. His soul is with God. Rest in peace. One day, I'll see him again.

September 16th 2009
It's been a year without Junior. I can't write anything. I can't stop crying. I am always angry; teachers say I need to improve on my work habits when I can't even focus on homework. How are you supposed to study when school is boring? My family isn't the same. I don't talk when I'm at home because I have nothing to say to these people.

September 16th 2011
3 years later. I've finished counseling. At first, I was too afraid to speak to her. I didn't think she'd understand. I noticed something though. Every time I write in my journal, now it's to you. I feel like you're with me; you've taken my guardian angel's place to protect me. Mommy's getting better. I don't hear her cry herself to sleep anymore. My words can't express the struggle and challenges I've confronted. I had hate in my heart because it seemed like nobody cared. But I understand now. I understand that some cases don't get solved and that God has a plan for everyone. I know this and it's because of you.

March 30th 2012
Happy 22nd Junior! I continue celebrating your birthday. I love you and constantly think about you. Rest in peace and stay by my side.

With fate comes my faith…

Artist: Janice Appiah
Age: 12-16