Life being quarantined has been nothing short of a horrible song but with a happy tune. To start off, I am 19 years old and a senior at Esperanza High School in Anaheim and I have been waiting to graduate for four years now! I used to live in a group home in Van Nuys, California, where I began to get involved in the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at the high school that I went to before I moved.
About a year and a half ago, I got involved with a program called Kidsave, whose goal is for foster youth to get with potential adoptive families. In less than a year of me being a part of the program, I was given the chance to speak at their annual Kidsave Weekend Miracles Gala at the Avalon in Hollywood. Little did I know that in the audience would be my future parents. The funny thing about it all is that after my speech I got approached by so many people that I actually spoke with them for only 30 seconds and those 30 seconds had made up their mind that they would want to become my parents.
I literally only spent maybe three times with their family and not all of them at the same time, so I actually never met the family as a whole. I moved in with them in August 2018 after just six months of being a part of Kidsave and only seeing them three times. Through my time of living in a group home, I was struggling with my academic work. The only class I passed was my sports class, which was cheerleading at the time. Once I moved in with my new family, my academic record improved drastically.
One of the greatest things that I have done in life is join the sport of wrestling. As soon as I started to attend Esperanza, I joined the wrestling team with no prior experience in the sport. The wrestling community is so tight that right away I felt the support of my coaches and the coaches of my opponents that I had to wrestle. Over the course of a year I grew from a newbie to being ranked sixth in our federation.
I have traveled to Reno, Nevada, Las Vegas, Buchanan and Fresno, California, just to name a few places. I have grown more as an individual this past year than I ever have before in my life. Which leads me to the topic of this writing: How has living a quarantined life affected me these past few weeks?
First off, it is extremely weird to have to work from home. I find it more difficult to get motivated to wake up and say to myself, “Well, it’s time to get to work.” It is also very difficult to have to look at a computer screen for over eight hours a day. Before the coronavirus epidemic, I began to get tired of going to school every day and seeing and listening to the same people every day. I fell into a routine of boringness that was killing me mentally. But as I continue the quarantine life at home I have begun to realize how much I actually cared for my classmates and my teachers and how amazing it was to be able to socialize and have fun with them.
As much as I can think negatively about this whole epidemic and how it has changed the way I do business, I can actually say that I have learned more because of it. It has taught me how to be grateful for the relationships that I have with people and to cherish the time that I spend with family. Spending time with my family makes me feel a lot more secure in knowing that I have someone to help take care of me during this time of crisis. My quarantine experience has been quite an experience.
Tye Rae Bailey, 19, is part of the class of 2020, and will graduate this year. He works with Kidsave, a nonprofit that helps find foster youth possible adoptive families or lifelong mentors. Bailey does public speaking at fundraising events and hosts an annual gala for Kidsave in Los Angeles. He has hosted an event with celebrity Tig Notaro, and done news interviews with Fox LA’s Christine Devine and Houston CBS anchor Shern-min Chow. Bailey has dedicated time to helping foster youth to have a voice. He enjoys surfing, wrestling and spending time with family.