Cryme Tyme offer hope to Washington D.C. youth
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Forget the ice, the platinum grills and C-walk two-step entrances. When Cryme Tyme visited teenagers from The FutureBound Independent Living Program in Washington, D.C., the antics that had made them one of the most adored tag teams of the WWE Universe were put aside. Monday nights it's about the money, but on this day, it was all about inspiration.
"If you know what you want to do, get out there and pursue your dreams. Don't wait, and never let anything or anyone distract you," said JTG. "Know that with everything you want to achieve in life you will have to make sacrifices."
According to the program's Web site, FILP, founded in 1995, is a supervised apartment-based program for youth who are aging out the care of public systems and need transitional assistance to live in the community. Some of the youths in the program have suffered traumatic experiences, forcing them to be shuffled through the city's foster care system. The organization's primary goal is to provide young adults with services that promote a positive and independent lifestyle while encouraging them to become productive members of the community.
Shad and JTG, who grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., housing projects, were ridiculed by some and told that they'd never amount to much in life.
"There was a moment in my life when I told myself, ‘I'll never let anyone tell me I can't achieve something.' So my advice to you is be different, while remaining true to yourself. If you look at all the great people throughout history, were considered outcasts, they were independent thinkers and now they are the most revered people … still to this day," Shad told the wide-eyed group, who listened to his every word.
Being raised in a tough neighborhood can be difficult, and sometimes, one's frustrations can get the best of a person. Cryme Tyme gave tips on how to channel one's anger and to never hold grudges.
"The amount of energy you waste on hating, you can spend on shining … I learned that every time I held grudges I wasn't getting far. Using your anger toward violence gets you nowhere in life," Shad explained.
In the end, Cryme Tyme enjoyed the experience with the youth, and hopes their message about staying positive and working hard to achieve one's dreams got through to the teens.
"I wanted to help them make proper decisions, and know there are consequences for everything you do," JTG described.
"They related to us because we're real. We are two kids from Brooklyn who had a dream. We might've not come from the best situations, but we succeeded in life, because we didn't let life beat us down. We kept on going," Shad added, while handing out tickets to the teens for Saturday Night's Main Event.
"Attending Saturday Night's Main Event will be the first time that [the teens] will be able to experience something this big in their lives. For WWE to be so kind to help these kids, it's priceless. They'll always remember that someone cared enough to give them an experience like this," said Jennifer Gillyard, an FILP specialist.
"What I saw today were two young men with good character, who are very respectful, encouraging and really want to give back to the community," said Roberta Rinker, FILP program coordinator. "I think that says a lot. They are positive role models for our youth."