My name is Michael. I am 22 years old and live in Arlington. Growing up, my relationship with my family was not very good. In the fourth grade I started to hang out with the wrong crowd. I smoked my first cigarette and from there it kept getting worse. As a juvenile, I was arrested about seven times. It got to a point where my mom didn’t know who I was anymore. I did not care about school and all I wanted to do was get high. In total, I served time for about five years. However, this last time was very different because I gained so much, and the most precious thing was learning about OAR. Gaining this information in jail, I set up an appointment with an OAR case manager upon my release. Since that visit, everything has changed a lot for me. I did not want to keep living my life the way I was. I needed support and that’s what I have been getting at OAR. They have helped me with job links, employment, and encouragement. They gave me a mentoring team and also a great tutor. I have been out for over a year now. The relationship with my family has improved a lot. I am currently working part time and attending Northern Virginia Community College, and I could have not done this by myself. OAR has encouraged me to go back to school and kept my motivation to continue working. I am also thankful for the scholarships they have provided me with. Experiencing all this makes me want to become a counselor for young kids, so I can help them not follow the same road I once did. I want to thank OAR for all the help they have given me.