I was brought up by my Mum and my Aunty. I come from the North. I liked primary school and I liked science. I liked learning about things and being outside playing.
In my teen years I started to go off the rails a bit. Just doing stupid stuff and getting into alcohol and drugs. I also did some good stuff. I went and completed my NCEA and I have done some training for the building industry.
My Dad wasn’t around for me and I didn’t really have that solid male role model. My Dad went to jail when I was young. When I was on remand in Mt Eden Prison he was there too, it was the first time I had seen him in years. He carved me a taonga which I wear now to keep me safe.
My younger brother went to jail before me, he is 18 now. This was my first time in prison. I had been in a crime involving a stolen car. I was safe because people knew who my father was.
I am lucky that my Mum was living down in Auckland and was able to visit me in prison. Once I went back to court, I was able to go home to her place and do the rest of my sentence in the community. My Mum contacted PARS to get me help when I got out of prison.
When I came to PARS, I met Mark who specialised in working with young people like myself through the Te Ira service.
Mark helped me work on a pathway to the future. He helped me sort out my strengths, things to aim for. He hooked me up with some mentoring from a builder and rugby league player. I spent the day on the building site at the PARS house getting to use some of my skills and gain some ideas about work.
I have been doing gardening for my community service. I want to be an awesome landscape designer.
One year on
Xavier was recalled to prison for a short time but is now living back in the North with his older brother who has agreed to take him on and guide him. Xavier is on track with his community service hours and is drug-free. His Mum is praying for him.
“I see myself as a sunflower, starting out as a seed and growing really tall.”