DeShawn Minor reflects on his early youth as a difficult time. He didn’t fully understand how his actions impacted those around him, especially his mom and younger siblings. He describes how he had anger issues and “goofed off” a lot at school, resulting in several suspensions and finally, expulsion. He was placed into a group home as a teen and an alternative school in another city.
“I believe God speaks to us through other people and the message I was constantly receiving was, ‘think before you act,’” DeShawn said. “I began drawing and channeling my negative energy into something positive.”
One of DeShawn’s biggest supporters, since entering a group home, has been his Department of Child Services case worker. She encouraged him to enroll at The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults.
“My grades are better and so is my attitude,” DeShawn said. “I expect to graduate in September 2019.”
DeShawn has only been drawing for five years. He doesn’t own any fancy sets of pens, pastels, paints or colored pencils. He draws with a traditional #2 pencil and sharpies. Sometimes he ruptures the tube of an ink pen for a splash of color or utilizes white out.
“I was contacted by a tattoo artist from Chicago who said he liked the artwork I had posted on my Facebook page,” DeShawn said.
He’s starting to think about how he might be able to turn his love of drawing into a career, but his primary goal right now is to be the first in his family to graduate from high school (on the Minor side of his family).
“I think I might cry when I walk across that stage,” DeShawn said. “I want my younger siblings to be able to look up to me as a positive example.”
His relationship with his mother has greatly improved and he hopes to move back up to Muncie to be near her and his siblings after graduation — he’s even considering enrolling at Ball State University.
“Things haven’t been the easiest for DeShawn,” said Rachel Brown, humanities instructor at The Excel Center. “But despite difficult circumstances, he found a healthy outlet to express himself and always has a great attitude.”