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Photo ofJadah Whittington

Before Covid-19 started, I was a completely different person. I would not listen, was really disrespectful, thought my mom would do and take from me because she thought it was funny to be mean. 

Then coronavirus hit. We were all stuck in the house, and I thought if I just would have listened and stayed out of the wrong crowd and away from all the “bad kids” and bad influences, I would have stayed out of trouble and not gotten my phone taken away. I would have been able to hang out with my friends. I would have been able to do all that stuff and have all that opportunity and kept my parents’ trust if I had just gotten away from the toxicity. 

Don’t hang out with the wrong crowd because all it does is ruin and damage you and your real friendships. When you get into the toxicity, then you’re toxic because that's how you think that friends are supposed to be, and then you lose all your real friends because you wanted to hang out with all these toxic people and get yourself into trouble. Surround yourself with good, healthy people that are actually going to be there and care and love for you, not people that are just going to sit there and use you again and again because that's toxicity and not healthy.  

© Jadah Whittington. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.