Katlyn Tarras, Minneapolis
I feel like I have a lot of self-respect. I’ve gotten to a point where I’m living life for myself and not for anyone else.
Q: What are you most proud of?
Sometimes people don’t bring out the best in you. I was in a relationship for a while that I thought I enjoyed, and I thought I could be myself in. But once I realized I wasn’t myself, I had a lot of respect for myself to get out of that situation.
Q: What made you realize that you weren’t being yourself?
I felt like I was taking care of someone all the time. I was kind of babysitting them. I felt like I couldn’t live my own life because I was trying to fix someone else. I was kind of close-minded, like, “This is what my life is gonna be like,” and I settled for it. I’ve lived here for 24 years, and I always thought, “This is where I’m gonna end up.” You just realize there’s a whole new world of possibilities out there, and there’s a lot of people I haven’t met. Before, my energy was focused on someone else, and now my energy is focused on myself, and learning what I’m passionate about, what my goals are for the future, and where I wanna go in life. I’m at a point where it’s not so much about someone else, but it’s more about me.
Duran Mayfield, St. Paul
Graduating high school, because my mom died when I was 14, and I was going from foster home to foster home. It was kind of a struggle living with other people. Like, you can’t go in the refrigerator without asking. It’s just horrible. It’s really depressing, it just feels like nobody really cared about me and loved me. I just felt rock bottom. But I made it. I graduated two years ago.
Q: How did you manage to graduate?
Because I knew if I didn’t get my diploma that I probably wouldn’t succeed in life. So I really pushed myself hard and stayed in school. A couple of my friends dropped out, but I just couldn’t see myself being out here in the streets without an education.
Nathan Willar, Blaine
My relationships with my friends and family. The pride in that is when I think about the comfort and the strength that they give me, but also the way that I can support them and be a helper to them in their times of need. That gives me a lot of joy and strength.
Q: Has there been a time you can think of when you’ve been able to be there for someone else?
It’s the small things. The text message that comes in and says, “Hey, I really need to talk,” and I’m able to say “I’m open at lunch. Where can we meet?” Just to be there for someone, that makes me feel really good, like I’ve met their need.
Q: Can you think of a time when other people have been there for you?
Yeah, I met with some guys this morning to talk through life. Just to share some of the struggles and some of the hardships that I’m going through, and to hear theirs, and to speak truth into each other’s lives early in the morning before work. So I’ve had a great day today, and I know that there’s guys out there that have my back, and are willing to drop anything to meet with me.