By Wayne Johnson
One day my brother, Bobby, and I met up after he got off work. He started telling me about this economics class that will pay us for attending. I thought about the money and was like, “Yeah, bruh, I’m coming.” Neither of us had been to school in awhile when we started attending Game Theory Academy (GTA).
At that time, I had been making decisions that put a negative impact on my life. I was in and out of jail for robbery charges and possession of illegal drugs. Money was hard to come by, so I chose to be a young hustler on the streets. Ever since I was born, the hood was my residence. The hood did give me some positive game – like school – but mostly what it gave me was negative. In elementary school I had good grades, but in middle and high school I had difficulty making it through. After the last time I got out of juvenile hall, everything was really hard for me. I dropped out of high school because I felt like completing any task was impossible.
On our way home from the first GTA class, Bobby and I talked about how interesting it was. We took the GTA advice about making decisions in our best self-interest very seriously. Bobby and I conversated about making choices that will better our lives. We talked about being a better man. We knew that continuing the life we were living could land us in the penitentiary or a casket or set ourselves up to be future bums. We both felt good about ourselves, learning about the economy and how to think strategically.
That was last year. This summer I took the Game Theory Academy class again. I wanted what I had learned to be fresh in my mind. I had missed a lot my first time because Bobby got shot, and I didn’t want to leave the house alone. I faced a lot of obstacles and distractions. I was worried that the dudes who shot Bobby would come look for me when I hopped on the bus to come to class.
Some time passed, and I was facing a whole lot of choices: enroll in University of Phoenix, join Civic Corps or just look for a job. I tried looking for a job, but it was taking such a long time that I just said forget it. I was worried that University of Phoenix would make me overwhelmed. I thought college would be hard, and I’d mess things up for myself if I didn’t comprehend the classes.
Civic Corps gave me a chance to catch up in school. I started out in their school program, to get my game up. I was late a few times, but I didn’t miss any classes, so they invited me to the job side. Now I work at Civic Corps five days a week and am taking classes toward my high school diploma. I get a paycheck and put it into my bank account every two weeks.
What I got from Game Theory Academy was the knowledge to weigh my options. I learned how to think through what I could handle now, until I can handle the next option. In the hood there is this philosophy, “Get it how you live.” That means, work with what you’ve got, stay true to the hood. My philosophy, now, is different: “If there’s something out there, go get it.”