Age | 17

Photographer| Lisa Uesugi

My mom is Lili. She is a nice person and is very helpful. She is also a neat freak. I’m glad my mom is not in jail anymore because she is now a better person and when she changed, it helped me. It’s better because I get to see her now. She is clean now and she has learned her lesson. Sometimes we like to cruise together. I would like to tell her, “You were stupid for doing all that stuff but now you learned that what you did was wrong.”

I am a football player.
I can dance.
I will join the marines.

My son Chayse Boy was my photographer. He had a bit of a hard life with both his mom and dad not being around much. I was on drugs and he was exposed to some traumatic life experiences including some violence in my relationships. When I went to prison, he was raised by his grandmother and grandfather. I know living with his grandparents was hard and he must have been confused, angry and lonely at times. Although there was time lost, we are close and have a tight bond. We love to spend solid, quality time together. I enjoy just being around him even without words being said. I am proud that he is a survivor and has such confidence. He is handsome and has a kind heart. He has forgiven me for all that I had put him through. He has never put me down about my mistakes and never condemned me. My son gives me the drive to be a better person and mother. I hope Chayse always stays true to himself and experiences life fully. I hope he has a relationship with God and he is successful and has a full and happy life. I want him to know that I am trying hard to be stable in life and in my relationships with others. “Chayse, I’m so proud of you. You are my strength. I love you so much and I‘m here for you always.”

Lili | Mother

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