Good morning/evening everyone, my name is Antonio Evans. I’d like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to share a little bit of my history, about how life was for me growing up, full of ups and downs, and how some of those ups and downs lead me to my incarceration
So, I’m going to start off by saying that growing up in a single parent household was hard, I’m telling you it was. I know everyone has heard the saying, “the struggle is real," well yea in my situation that was so true you don’t even understand. That’s why I’m about to explain it to you.
Growing up in a household of seven kids living with a single parent was hard like I said it was, especially after we were forced to move out of my aunt’s house because she and my mom had a disagreement. Two weeks later we began packing our belongings in order to move from Florida to Memphis to live with my grandmother.
Me being so young, I didn’t know what to expect living in such an environment with so many other kids, and because there was so many of us it was hard not to get into any trouble. So almost immediately after we moved, I began to fight, curse and act out a lot at home because I liked the attention I received from it.
Not until my sister had a disagreement with some girls who didn’t like her did I hear from her that the girls and her got into a fight. Hearing about that fight pushed me to carry guns in order to scare people off and to play with the gun. But with so many things happening at the time I really couldn’t get myself together. Until my uncle convinced me to do better in life, explaining that if I do the right thing in the easy situations, along the way the harder ones will become as easy as taking a step forward. But not a week later did I receive a phone call, a phone call of his passing.
Soon after fighting and acting out in school was a way of coping with his death. Then my mom bought a house across town as a way of keeping me out of trouble, so I ran away because I felt I was a burden on my family.
Once I got back settled with my mom at home, all of the issues at home eventually caught the attention of the teachers at school and not long after resulted in me and my siblings being placed in foster care. Throughout my time in foster care, I got self-motivation to start fresh and begin focusing on my academics, which lead me into sports. My foster mom, by the way, had a great impact on my behavior. She took to me to church, we joined the choir and we established a great mother and son relationship.
But once I was sent back home with my mom, although I was still into sports, I began reverting back to my old ways. It started out slow but my old habits eventually came back to me. So when football season ended, unfortunately, I began to act out which ultimately led to my incarceration at Jail East.