Another Lost Boy Story by Angello Mamaril

I’m so grateful to have spoken to one of my best friends from high school, Angello Mamaril, for my blog! I move out to New York in two weeks and I definitely wanted to do a session with him before I leave. I appreciate him sharing his story and opening up about his personal life through foster care, developing as a professional, and some wisdom he’d like to share with you all. Read his story on how foster care and youth leadership has impacted his life for the better.

(This conversation is summarized based on voice memo recording and his permission)

My Whole Life I Had To Self-Reflect

How have you been feeling lately -- mentally, physically, and emotionally on what’s going around the world and your personal life?

As for me personally, I have no other option but to feel like I’m on an uprise. Regardless of what’s going on, this is the same year that everybody was like “2020 is going to be my year!” but with all the things going on like the pandemic, everything shutting down, it was easy to say “it’s not going to be my year” but I didn’t have that option. I say that because the program that I’m in pushed me to do that. At the same time, all my life I’ve lived I had a lot of self-reflection because I grew up as an only child even though I had a lot of family.

It was just that situation between me and my grandfather living in that one household with not a lot of things around me like video games or anything to play with gave me the time to self reflect. I felt like that’s kind of a relapse in this time where I’m able to think about myself and remember things that I love. So I’ve taken everything with a grain of salt and made sure I got to keep moving forward despite everything. I’m not going to lie, there were moments of uncertainty for sure because everything that we’ve been told. But knowing me I kept that positive energy and mindset to translate into my everyday life.

My Experiences On A Bigger Scale

How is your program going for you and what about the program is exciting you?

The best part about this program is that they like to tap in on who you already are. They appreciate your story. There are so many things that I’ve gone through in my life that led up to now and the way that I can portray myself to certain people. What I mean by that is, let’s look at the time where I was homeless. I had to adapt to many places. I take that into nowadays because I can adapt to multiple things without having a certain feeling. That feeling of uncertainty or “I can’t do this”. It’s more-so “I’m going to HAVE to do this” and do it with pride. Like I know you are going to be moving to New York that’s going to be a big change -- sure you’re going to be scared and experience new things.

The main thing is to understand that change is inevitable. You just got to go with it and love it at the same time.

Bringing back to what I was saying earlier, there’s a moment where I was with Youth/Church leadership. The moments where I had to write up an agenda, talk to folks in terms of conflict resolution, all that bringing to the professional and corporate world is cool because now I get paid for this. There are so many little things that I thought about that I experienced that I want to bring to the rest of the world on a bigger scale. I was just lucky to have this opportunity.

My Self-Worth Through Foster Care

What is your story where you felt lost?

I think back to a certain image in my head. I just remember after losing my grandfather that was the biggest part of uncertainty. I didn’t know if my mom was going to be stable enough to take care of me. I didn’t know if my aunties were going to be willing to take me in. I still had this amazing life of having friends like you and a lot of my church friends. I even remember before him passing away because there was a time where he was in the hospital and we knew he was going to pass. I was out every day because I couldn’t handle the reality of losing someone that set my life for me for 11 years. The image in my head was just me on the beach with my guitar and rosary after prayer just thinking about “who am I in this world”? I’m thinking about how small am I in this world? I think about my impact and the people that I love are the people that love me, but also the things that don’t reciprocate.

You put so much positivity into this world, you’ve given your story and there’s a part of you that expects the world to give back.

After those days on the beach that’s where it started moving into now I’m going to be sleeping at this cousin’s house, stay at this other cousin’s house and now I’m going to live with another homie who has an extra room which then turned into foster care. I deemed foster care as a moment of me finding myself into someone who wants to help the world in some way. That’s where the whole leadership came in and why I was a strong speaker for certain things.

I think without those moments on the beach thinking to myself about my worth, that would’ve been completely different.

I also think about my late-night talks with you and other friends about looking at my situation from the outside. I still realize that I have it better than some, not to boast. You kind of realize what you’re grateful for. One of my biggest themes is riding on wisdom. If you can share that wisdom that’s one of the best things ever. When you tell your story and you know that story has helped you and you see someone registering that story it’s one of the best feelings.

My Calling Is My Wisdom To Help Those Who Feel Stuck

Are you closer to figuring out your purpose?

I’ve been away from Youth leadership, choir, and things that I love because of work. I’ve also been more complacent with talking about music and playing music. So I feel like I’ve been on this grind constantly because there are a lot of opportunities in my life to develop myself as a professional or more of a person that wants to exceed higher. I just want to do better in school, period. I guess it was a lot of bringing myself down. I felt like there were a lot of moments that lack confidence in me being able to do things because I’m so distracted by so many other things. I’m just constantly busy with stuff that isn't important.

Bringing back to the idea of self-importance and what this program has done for me is help me find my worth again. After the whole foster care, I figured I’d become a social worker. That was the hard part because I’m steering towards this other career path. I’ve been in situations where I felt really low. My situation of not having parents made me want to empower those people in foster care. As I started the Year Up program I wanted to become successful, show my determination, and influence that kind of crowd (foster care) in the future as long as I get there.

One thing that I noticed now is that I need a lot of affirmation. I think that developed from being from Youth leadership. I just see myself as an actual adult this time as I move forward.

I’m looking at life with different perspectives while being empathetic. I’ve developed that feeling and power of empathy. Being able to not only feel for one another but legitimately being able to look at someone’s face and tell them,

“I understand your pain. Even if I don’t understand your pain, I want to or at least be here for you”.

I’ve realized that in every moment that’s part of my nature. When someone comes with me with an issue it’s like we can either step aside or I’ll give you my piece of wisdom. My calling would be helping people that are stuck in some way. I’m not going to tell you where to go, I’m going to highlight what you already know. You know the answers but it’s the matter of you trying to shine a light on that. There are moments where you feel like you’re in such a dark place and you kind of shy away from that answer. I like making things evident for people.

Look At Yourself.

Don’t Let Time Hold Back.

Be Grateful.

What is some wisdom you can share with people?

One thing that I can say in terms of wisdom is to be able to wake up and look at yourself in the mirror. Look into your eyes and think back to all the things you’ve gone through. Whether that be good times or bad times and times that have defined you. The more you constantly think about your story, who you’ve become through those stories matter. It helps you figure out who you are and what is next for you in the world. I also think in terms of self-awareness and look at the people around you. Think about how they affected you and think about the words they said. Maybe even times that they’ve hurt you and how that has changed you. There’s a lot of moments in my life where I understood that the people that are closest to you can hurt you at the same time. But at the same time, you still have this unconditional love for them because of the relationship that you built.

Another piece of wisdom is

to not let time hold you back. If you look at the time and feel like you’re just growing old and stuck at a certain spot that’s going to apply more pressure to you.

We all have this concept of time like, “I need to get here. I need to get here now”. If you don’t get yourself there, then you feel like you’re driving yourself backward and not moving forward and seeing the person you want to see. When the person you want to see is already there. The person you need to be is already in that moment. You are worth it. You’re worth everything that you made yourself to that point to be.

I think about the word grateful. I think people overlook that word a lot. We can say thank you to a lot of things, but why are you saying thank you? Why are you thankful for what it is? I’ve come to realize that I could be in a different situation. I can be that person that can be angry at the world and angry at myself because I didn’t get my degree or I don’t have this at the moment. The little things or big things that people want at the moment, you take a step back and realize that it’ll be okay. Even if it means you lost a family member, or a friend, or you broke up with someone -- just realize where you’re at the moment.

Thank you again bradda for sharing your story! It was definitely refreshing to hear some words of wisdom and a different perspective of life. I am super excited for you, not only for your professional development but your personal growth as well. I know that you will succeed and impact the lives of others that need it. Seeing you go through the transition of foster care to be where you are now is truly incredible. Don’t ever give up and know that I am always supporting you wherever I am in life. Please take Angello’s word of wisdom and advice however you like and try to practice it for yourself. Check out his page and get to know his beautiful soul on Instagram (@tastiestgello)!

I appreciate you taking the time to read his story! Sending you love as we start a new month in July. From one lost boy to another, here’s to finding our calling in life.

With love,

Another Lost Boy