Citizen Michael

By: bmshep

Jun 16 2010

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Male Citizens


Focal Length:58mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:FinePix S5Pro

This is Michael. I met Michael at Sac City College where he is taking general ed classes. Michael was born in Lamont, CA and lived in the Bakersfield area as well as the Bay Area and Oregon while growing up. Michael was born with some brain damage which was made worse when his mother’s ex-boyfriend threw him against a wall. He and his sister, as well as his mother, suffered drug-fueled abuse by this man until his mother got him into a foster home when he was almost 4. At age 6 he was finally adopted and escaped that environment only to enter into one filled with verbal abuse. At age 16, not wanting to be in an unhealthy situation anymore, Michael moved into a group home in Sacramento. Michael finished high school and has attended college in Taft, Bakersfield and now in Sacramento. He lives in a men’s home and is trying to get an apartment of his own. He works for the Athletic Dept. at Sac City College, in the equipment room, and also helps line the fields for games. Michael wants to start his own drug and alcohol rehab center, and wants entertainment to be a part of it. He sings and raps and writes his own songs and loves to share them with others. He also writes poetry. Having ADHD doesn’t stop him because, in his own words, those who have ADHD are creative geniuses. Recently, Michael sang and rapped at the Gospel Festival in Land Park. He is part of the student government at Sac City College. Michael has had some obstacles in his life, to say the least, but they haven’t stopped him from following his dreams. He always has a smile on his face and his determination is an example for anyone, even for those without disabilities. Michael’s musical influences are Michael Jackson, will Smith, Patty Loveless, and Michael w. Smith. His favorite movies are Power Rangers, Super Mario Brothers, and Transformers. Not suprising since he says he has designed robots. Michael is 33.

Favorite Accomplishments: 2 year champion at the Bakersfield College Idol competition. 1 year champion for drawing. 1st place winner in miniature golf in Lapine, OR. Commissioner of environmental affairs for the Sac City student government. Working with the youth ministry group at church. Having some of my poems published on

Regrets: That I wasn’t able to protect my sister and my mom from abuse. I was too young.

What are your passions and obsessions? My creativity (singing, rapping and writing). Jesus. My education and my job.

Why do you want to open a drug and alcohol rehab? The man that abused my family was a drug addict. I want to help people like that so they don’t hurt other families.

What’s the toughest thing you’ve gone through? My abuse, both the physical and the verbal. I have PTSD because of it.

What’s something about you that surprises people? An African American guy in my class was surprised that I am trying to stop prejudice. Some of my raps are against prejudice. I have one called “Race by Race, Gender by Gender (It Doesn’t Matter If You’re Disabled or Elderly)”.

Sound Off: People who have gone through abuse and heartache like I have, don’t have to go through it alone. I am here to help anyone who has gone through what I have.

Thanks Michael! I wish you the best.


2 comments on “Citizen Michael”

  1. Tell Michael I’m sending him a hug.
    What an inspiring story.

  2. Michael, you are an inspiration! I salute you.

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