I’m here today to talk to you about shoplifting. First, it is a FELONY. Which means it will permanently be put on your record and make getting a job nearly impossible. You will not be accepted anywhere that you handle money, which is the main job people my age and those starting off in the work force can get.
Now, why am I posting this? Well… I was caught shoplifting. It was terrifying. This was the ultimate screw-up. I was finished. I ruined my future. I gave into peer pressure and allowed the girl I lived with in Ft. Collins to persuade me into stealing. What was I thinking? Honestly… I wasn’t. It was a stupid, thoughtless decision that I made. I blame no one else but myself. No one forced my hand to pick up that tanktop and put it in my bag. It was my hand, my mind, my mistake. I screwed up big time.
However, there was hope! I was lucky enough to be caught in a place that had a Restore program for youths 20 and under. Just a few more months and I wouldn’t have made it. So, the program has given me the privilege of making up for my mistake. Since it was the first and only time I have ever stolen, I have been given the chance to make up for my poor choice.
One way for me to do this was to write about my mistake and try to influence as many people in the community to not make the same decision that I made. Hence the reason I started with and emphasized the fact that it is a FELONY.
So, although I was instructed to draw or write something that could help the youth around me, I chose to post on here. I am not ashamed of this post. In fact, I think it is very necessary.
While in the group at the program’s meeting I learned something vital to my future. I wish to share it with you. We were told to bring a support person with us, preferably a parent. I was in a group with 2 other girls, younger than me, still in high school. One of the mothers brought up a very valid point. Parents know to talk to their kids about sex and drugs, but it never occurs to them to have a talk about the ramifications of theft. It is an important lesson that kids should learn early, before they make the mistake themselves.
So, I just want to say that I am so thankful that I was truly lucky enough to get into this program. Not only have I learned a lot about how shoplifting effects the stores and community, I have also been granted a second chance.
I want to take the last part of this post to thank the Restore program and every one who takes their time to talk to the youth going through it. Without you, we would have a very bleak future.