Skip to main content

Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC) is committed to uplifting the voices of youth in advancing narrative change and transforming the youth justice system into a holistic model of care. As part of our work, in 2022 we invited young people to express their thoughts and ideas in creative form about the school-to-prison pipeline and youth justice system.  We have featured the students’ work on our blog and in our newsletters and social media this past January and February, and this is the final piece.

The Life of a Youngan

by Desmond L.

(Summer Slam Runner-Up)


To start, the kid is left with a broken heart. 

He was broken and abandoned right from the start. 

Sometimes it feels as if he has no heart, no heart. 

With no real home, all his love is gone. He is not all alone. But it still feels like he’s got no home. 

With a mother who has passed and a father who couldn’t care less. The youngan left all alone had to go and get it all on his own. He started with an onion* 12 pulled down. 

Now the youngan is running, his heart is racing, his thoughts are pacing. Without anyone who cares the youngan lives to catch his next pop. Wondering when he can stop, he runs his life with a gun in hand. He still enjoys his life, and he knows it’s not the best, but he realizes that life is not fair. 

He went from an onion to a half still trying to find himself; he gave up on school. Trying to survive he fell deep into a dark place with no hope. When The youngan finally gave up his fight there was no light. He was caught into the great net… 


(*slang for a quantity of drugs)

Desmond is seventeen. He says “I believe that people shouldn’t be locked away like they are less that human.” He currently lives with his grandmother and says he has a lot of responsibilities. Desmond says, “I enjoy watching anime, mostly Isekai. I also love to play the tuba and work on my music.”