About Svens N. Télémaque
My life started with the all-too-familiar broken home, the fatherless epidemic plaguing the young black male in North America today. Shortly after my birth, my father divorced my mother and abandoned our family. My mother was now left alone to raise a man, and with few options, she made the drastic decision to move from Montreal to Miami, Florida. We landed right smack in the middle of an impoverished drug stricken community. My front yard was the home of severe addicts and contentious drug dealers. I was raised in a melting pot of criminal activity.
In my mother’s unwavering efforts to support me she fell slave to labor exploitation, where she worked 72-hour work weeks to barely make ends meet. I easily slipped through the limited supervision my mother could offer me. Plagued with a pliable mentality that became manipulated by the negative ideologies perpetuated by the media, I took to streets believing in the fast money philosophy. Seeing that there was no one positive to serve as a guidepost, I aligned myself through the dominant current washing away the young men in my neighborhood, I became a product of my environment.
My perception was defiled and indefinite, and After six arrests, several funerals, a failed kidnap attempt on my life, a couple events of brandished weapons in my face that could have shut my casket and the deportation of my partner in crime, it finally dawned on me. I was jumping into a grave head first. After the acquittal of gun possession charged by the state of Florida in 2006, I had to face the fact that I was never legally naturalized in the U.S. and couldn’t pursue my desire to get an education or seek legitimate employment. I gave up selling crack and started selling used cars, perfume, clothes, and shoes to make ends meet without hurting anybody, destroying families or promoting violence. It’s been 9 years since I left Florida willingly to pursue my education and change my environment and perception. I have now realigned myself with purpose, identity, and value.
Since 2009, I’ve been recognized for being an influential leader in my community and beyond, primarily through speaking engagements and poetry. Most recently I am on a mission with my youth empowerment tour entitled “Broken crayons still color”.A meaning of which emphasizes that although we may become broken by different events, it does not disqualify us from showing our community, society and ultimately the world our greatness.
The aim of the tour is to empower youth, inspire creativity, motivate performance, cultivate leadership and discourage bullying. We are intentionally targeting youth who have had more than the average share of adversity and require some positive influences and motivation on their journey to young adulthood.
As I look behind me I see the continuous degradation of a generation after me that has gotten more violent, careless and without a positive direction and lacking reference points against the strong current that media washes them away with.
After all my ordeals, an African proverb comes to mind: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. This now is my objective: to ensure that my experiences can serve the generations after me and, together, lead them out of a classroom or jail cell with what was instilled in me. That even “Broken crayons still color”