By Tae Brown
2013 Youth of the Year
I lay in my bed, wide awake at 4 a.m., the same time every night. This was when my mother came home from her second job. Without it, she wouldn’t be able to care for us. I would listen for hours to her sobs until she exhausted herself, falling asleep.
I hated this routine, mostly because I knew it would occur the same time the very next night. Her burden of working 12-hour shifts to put clothes on our backs, a meal in our refrigerator, or a bed to sleep on was a heavy one to carry. I have never met my father, I barely know of his existence.