Hi :) my name is Shanell Rae Baldonado, I'm 18 years of age and I'm working to get my associates degree. I've been through more hardships than one kid should handle but I'm ok with that because it's made me stronger as a person. The one thing in my life that keeps me fighting to do great is my younger brother, he's pretty much my everything! It's weird I know a teenage girl being so close to her kid brother but he truly is my best friend. I tell him everything and he tells me everything, we've been through a lot together and we can't stand it when we're apart. Our parents definitely made their mistakes and we would never be considered as "privileged" but we make the best out of a little.
I remember on his first day to school, he was in Kindergarten and I was in Second grade. We didn't live too far from the school so our parents trusted us to get there on our own. He was really nervous and started to cry when we crossed the street away from home and into an empty dirt lot. There were random mounds of dirt that surrounded us when he began to try to go home when I found a way to cheer him up. His favorite movie was The Land Before Time and the mounds did kind of look like dinosaurs in a way so I told him we should play a little game of pretend. We had so much fun pretending we were playing with Little Foot and Spike, so I told him that every day before school we could leave early and play on our new found friends. Every morning after that he was so excited to get to school he forgot the fact that he was leaving his home and it was worth it for me to wake up early so I didn't see my brother cry. He's 16 now and every time we pass that lot it makes us smile. :)