I’m Kayla Got The 411. In my personal life I’m just Kayla. My mother came up with the name in 1991 based off the character name Kayla Brady on Days of Our Lives. At that time, I don’t think she even knew she was pregnant. My mother has battled with drugs most of her life, and being pregnant with me she was heavily doing drugs. I remember once a cousin of mine called me a “crack baby”. Growing up in Augusta GA at that time, I saw many crack heads walk the streets and many drug dealers stand on corners. Many are not here with us today due to it leaving them dead or in jail. In such a crime related neighborhood , it was easy for many others to get mixed into it. My mother spent most of my young childhood in jail or just on the streets. With a father who was a big drug dealer who later found himself in jail. Having 2 parents in jail talking to them both from a prison, it was too much to understand at that age. Some thought I would grow up to go down either path. That is what many family members or neighbors thought would happen to me. Like many kids in that era, I was mostly raised by my grandmother. The parents decide to go out and live their life while the elderly grand parents take care of their responsibilities. Being in such a negative neighborhood, my grandmother kept me to myself. I didn’t play with other kids or go to other neighborhoods due to my grandmother fear or me getting with wrong crowd. Soon as the bus pulled up she was right there so we could go into the house. Many grand parents struggled taking care of small kids due to them living off social security. I remember some Christmases and birthdays there were no gifts. I also remember always having a meal and lights so no gifts never bothered me. You hear many stories of being a product of your environment. I’m here to tell you that doesn’t have to be true. Being a product of your environment is based off the era you grew up in, how others actions influences you, and your peers. Your environment doesn’t make you who you are. You as a person are responsible for what you become. Seeing how drugs influenced my parents, I went 28 yrs of my life never even trying marijuana out of fear of what could happen. I just knew at a young age I wanted to be nothing like that, and do better. Once I graduated highschool I moved out the city of Augusta. Been living in Atlanta since 2010. With a child of my own, I never wanted her life to be anything like mine when I was finding my mom crack pipes in my dresser. I knew that I wanted her to have no worries and allow her to be a kid. I hope someone who reads this understands that you can do and be anything you want. Just because you’re surrounded by negative , it doesn’t mean you will live a negative life. Break the cycle and take control of your own life.