YR Media’s Xochtil Larios has been in and out of Juvenile Hall. Now she’s back, but in an entirely different way and with a sense of purpose.
When I was 13, I wrote an essay looking for my purpose. I asked, “How do I identify my passions, wishes and dreams? Maybe it’s about being remembered as somebody with a purpose and not just anybody.”
This was the year I first tried weed, when I almost got kicked out of school. I had already been arrested once.
I spent the next few years in and out of Juvenile Hall. I was still looking for my purpose. I was trying to pull myself out of this lifestyle, holding down a real job as a lifeguard and swim instructor. Then, I caught another charge.
I’ll be honest with you. I’m still traumatized by this experience. So I don’t want to say what happened exactly. But it led me to being incarcerated for more than 200 days. At the start of my time in Juvenile Hall, I was grieving. But then, I decided, Hell no, that’s the old me. They’re not going to get the best of me.