The Journey that led to the
Apprentice of Peace Movement
AOP started in Denver City Park with a strong sense of wanting to give back to the world. Many people get this very same feeling. Our ambition came from a deep desire to find true peace in my life. I wanted to make a change from all of the stress and drama I thought life was throwing at me. By 2010, I was finally ready to admit that I was done with the street life, gangs, and selling drugs. I was going to follow the instructions of my parole and do what I had to do to remove myself from the system.
I enrolled in school, I started working a good job, and I started playing Call of Duty as a tool that kept me off the streets. For 8 months, I was focused and NOTHING could bring me down. But... I didn’t realize what was to come.
I sat in a cell wondering, how is it that after all the good I’ve done the last 8 months, I could end up here… in prison.
So, I decided to retrace my steps.
It was the very weekend before the incident. I had double the XP points for Call of Duty and my best friend - who plays COD with me - had already planned on playing all weekend. I was up for the challenge. At the same time I had another friend who was begging me to go out to the club with him. After tons of convincing, I caved. After all, it’s been over 8 months and I’ve been super disciplined. I enrolled back into school, I was working a great job, and my life was slowing turning around. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it would take me 2 years to get back home...
The night was going great and I was enjoying myself immensely, until suddenly, a fight breaks out right in front of me. I quickly attempted to break the two guys up, when out of nowhere, someone comes and hits me hard and completely knocks me out... The next thing I remember, I’m waking up in the hospital, discombobulated, disoriented and confused. I start to remove the neck brace and as I look around wondering why I'm here.
By the time I realized what had happened, they had already decided to press charges on me for assault... After everything I’ve done in the last 8 months, I couldn’t believe the situation I was in. Oh, and did I mention I was on Parole and had no business being at a club or drinking? They had no sympathy for my story and simply sent me to prison for the remainder of my parole sentence… 24 months.
Needless to say, this was a hard pill to swallow and the only outlet I had left was to write. My writing led to an epiphany that led to a change in mentality and quickly helped me re-engineer my thoughts and re-engineer my future outcome. Before I knew it, the AOP organization was alive. And I became the very first Apprentice of Peace.