You never know where you will meet people that will inspire you in life and confirm that what you are doing in life is “worth it.” Chiron has been a constant reminder that good people exist in all situations of life. I first met Chiron at my local Safeway where I was fortunate enough to experience his great customer service skills through the checkout line. Whenever I meet someone new in life I ask them to to tell me what their life story is; I asked Chiron what his “story” was and I could have never imagined how one person would end up changing to course of my life. It was not until we hung out a few times that Chiron shared with me stories about his childhood and youth growing up on the West Side of Chicago. He described to me violence on the streets, violence in house, police violence as if it were an every day normal part of his life. But that’s the thing for Chiron violence was normal in his life. One day his mother moved him and his 9 brother and sisters to Washington, DC to get away from the violence in Chicago.
I told him I really wanted to meet his family and I asked him on a scale of 1 to 10 how safe is your neighborhood he said “honestly?” and I said “of course!” he said, “an 11″ and that he would never let me come there. Tears welded up and I just cried and said “friends should be able to visit friends without the fear of violence.”
He described to me his bus ride from DC to Nebraska when he left for his freshmen year of college and again the tears started to roll down my face because I thought about how the idea of coming from Utah to DC on a bus would have never even crossed my mind- ever. I have been trying to help Chiron find some options to be able to find fare back to Nebraska because as he knows Education is one of the ONLY ways “out.”
The other day I was riding the metro and a tourist shook the hand of a solider which I thought was kind, but again the tears started and I thought to myself who shakes the hands of women, kids, mothers, fathers and young men like Chiron that have defied ALL odds? I am grateful to have shaken his hand!
Thank you Chiron for your courage and example.
Teen Gets a New Life in Nebraska
by Melissa Lee/ Lincoln Journal Star
Monday, Sep 24, 2007
In this back-to-school story, there was no family car loaded up with dorm supplies.
No Dad to carry a few things up the stairs.
No promise from the new college student to come home for Labor Day.
Chiron Hunt, a UNL freshman from Washington D.C., plays basketball with friends at the student Rec Center.
In this week’s Long Story Short we are introduced to Chiron Hunt, a UNL freshman from Washington, D.C.
In this story, there was only an 18-year-old boy, his mother and all the bags they could carry.
Twenty-odd hours of bus rides from their home in Washington, D.C., to Nebraska. A delayed arrival in Omaha that left them stuck until a University of Nebraska-Lincoln journalism instructor came to get them.
Unusual journey to campus? No doubt.
Then again, little has come easy in Chiron Hunt’s life.
One of nine kids reared by a single mother, Chiron always knew success would be an uphill battle.
With no money around, home life was tough.
So was school. Guns took more than one of Chiron’s friends, including a female basketball coach who was like a mother to his team.
Chiron heard the guy who killed his coach thought she was somebody else.
“Gives you something to think about.”
He found refuge on the basketball court and in broadcasting class.
He hoped to play ball and study journalism in college, but doubted he could afford it. Then, he says, a broadcasting teacher helped get him a scholarship to UNL.
So he packed his bags and with his mother boarded a bus.
And you know what? He likes it here, likes the slower pace of life. He’s making friends even though it’s a funny feeling to look around your lecture hall and realize you’re the only black student around.
He’ll try for a walk-on spot on the NU basketball team this fall. Even dreams of playing in the NBA someday.
In fact, shooting hoops is one of his favorite things about Nebraska.
The weather’s nice.
You don’t hear gunshots at night.
And there is time, lots of time, for basketball.