- Slug: Disconnected Youth,750
- Sidebar: About disconnected youth.
- Photos available (thumbnails, captions below)
By RACHEL LUND
PHOENIX – Isaiah Whiteside first went to jail at 16. That point in his life didn’t have any meaning, he said, which led to boredom and then trouble.
“What led to my incarceration was bad association – that is always something that can get you in trouble,” Whiteside said. “I would get up, look for something to do, be bored, go out and just hang out with people who were doing the same, and we got in a lot of trouble that way.”
As a young person not in school and without a job, Whiteside fit the definition of a disconnected youth.
So did Richard Martinez-Teller, a 15-year-old who already knows what it means to be hungry and begging for money on a street corner.
“I used to just be in the street doing drugs, selling and partying,” he said. “I’d try to find shelter and food for myself so that I wouldn’t starve to death.”