by Melissa Nava
This club means a lot to me because I feel like I am a totally new person, with a whole lot of weight that has been lifted off my chest. Since I joined P.O.P.S., I feel relief.
On March 1, some members from the club, including me, went to read their personal essay to people they didn’t even know at Beyond Baroque on Venice Boulevard. This was an amazing experience because I have never talked about my personal life problems nor have I been able to express my feelings to my mother nor my father. When I speak to both of them, I hide all my pain behind a smile.
Reading my story out loud made me realize that I should always express myself, no matter how hard the situation. Never keep things inside of you that can harm you mentally and physically because there are people out there you can reach out to, who can guide you along the right path.
Thanks to P.O.P.S. sponsor Mr. Danziger and his wife, I was able to share with the world how painful my life has been with an absent father and how I feel about everything and how I go on day by day with that gut feeling that I will never see my father again. He left after I turned 4 and never came back. He got aught twice trying to come into the country illegally and spent several years in jail, and now lives in Zacatecas, Mexico.
I know that there are a lot of teenagers who also suffer from the absence of a parent and end up doing drugs or joining a gang. Instead of all that, you should come and join P.O.P.S. We all support each other and are there for each other through our ups and downs.
This is a very supportive club and you can express yourself freely without having people judge you. I bet there are other teenagers who share the same story as you. P.O.P.S. meets every Wednesday at lunch in Room 120.
Originally published in The Oarsman, Venice High newspaper, March 13, 2015
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