My Gift?

I’m Kareem, obviously. Gifted? I’m not sure. When I was in fourth grade, my teacher called in my parents to discuss my performance with them. I was terrified. She told them that I had some difficulties paying attention and that I may benefit from some medication intervention. My parents scoffed and took me out of that school.

I resumed fourth grade at an arts school that is now merged with the local charter school. While my parents thought that finding a school that could cater to my unique abilities (my “gift”) would set me down the right path to becoming an attorney or doctor, as most immigrant parents want for their children, that wasn’t the path that unfolded before me.

I now work odd jobs here and there, for the past couple of years it’s been carpet cleaning and other home repairs, to fund my music career. When I got to that arts high school I heard a song that changed my life forever: Gimme Shelter, by the Rolling Stones.

I was suddenly and forever a vocalist.