Rasheed's Success Story (Patience, Patience, Patience!)

Secret to Success: Rasheed's Story
At one of our Wide Rainbow workshops, Rasheed, along with other participants, made homemade jewelry!

If you were to rewind to pre-pandemic times and meet Avenues for Justice (AFJ) participant, Rasheed, you would have found someone with many needs and a long “to do” list.  

Fast forward to today, Rasheed has already checked off a long list of accomplishments:

  • Final court date next week
  • Completed a 6-month treatment program
  • Graduated from high school remotely
  • Received his OSHA 30 training certificate
  • Started a trade school program to learn coding
  • Accepted into Monroe College

At his court date next week, Rasheed is expected to be adjudicated a Youthful Offender (YO) and conditionally discharged to AFJ, permanently sealing his record.

Rasheed decided to defer his acceptance at Monroe College to complete his coding course. In Rasheed’s words, “a cop can take your permit or your license, but they can’t take away your knowledge.”

Before being admitted to treatment, Rasheed remembers his favorite art workshops with Wide Rainbow at AFJ's Harlem community center. However, he also remembers the difficult days where he refused to let Brian or his mother help him. He says that once he let his walls down and started working with his court advocate, he got better grades, signed himself up for OSHA 30 and coding classes, and started planning for his future at college. 

Rasheed's successes are indicative to all the wraparound services--such as treatment, life skills workshops, art therapy sessions, college preparation, and more--that are needed to help young adults transform their lives.

Rasheed always knew that he was smart and had it in him to succeed, but needed people around him who believed in him to push him to be better. All of us at AFJ, as well as Rasheed’s mother, are very proud of him.

Sometimes AFJ can work with a young person for a month and find results, sometimes it takes years, but we don’t give up and give as many chances as it takes to create more Rasheed’s in our city.