Along with his duffel bag filled with clothes and other personal items, he also brought his own history of poor choices that he made while living and going to school in Lincoln, Neb.
First, there was an arrest for vandalism, followed by one for theft. He smoked and hung out with the wrong crowd — influenced by people he knew didn’t have his best interests in mind.
He said his problems could be traced back to some unfortunate occurrences in his life, and he didn’t know how to cope with them. Cedric said his seven months at the Home gave him perspective about where he’d been and where he wanted to go.
It didn’t take long for him to start making the right choices for his life.
“I’d been given multiple chances I didn’t deserve before coming to the Omaha Home for Boys, and when I arrived here, I knew I wanted to make changes in my life,” Cedric said. “I wanted to go to college, I wanted a future. I started to realize that it’s not bad to make mistakes in life as long as you choose to learn from them. Progress is a gateway to other possibilities and opportunities.”
During his time at the Home, Cedric became involved with numerous activities and projects, taking every opportunity to learn and better himself.
He discovered his attitude about life — especially about school and his family — started to improve. He no longer had a problem with authority, choosing to see it as a learning experience rather than punishment.
“We all have choices; it’s really what we make of those choices that determines where we go in our lives,” Cedric said. “I was headed in the wrong direction before coming to the Home. Now, I’m excited to see where I can go from here.”
Cedric graduated from the Home in June 2014 and returned to Lincoln to work. He started classes this fall at Southeast Community College, where he’s taking care of his prerequisite classes before transferring somewhere to major in herpetology — the study of reptiles.
“I might look into working for a zoo some day or open my own exotic pet store and breed,” Cedric said. “Whatever I do, I know I have possibilities thanks to my time and experiences at the Home.”