Life isn’t easy in many parts of the world and in some neighborhoods, every day can be a fight for survival.
This was the case for 28-year-old Marcio Donaldson, from Compton, California.
Growing up in Compton was no easy feat for the 26-year-old — surrounded by drugs and poverty, he watched as so many ended up with the same, tragic fate. Jail or death.
He also was aware of the cycle of poverty — generation after generation end up living the same difficulties. In fact, both his mother and grandmother had grown up in the system.
And when his sister struggled with challenges of her own, the same was about to happen to her son, Rashad.
But that’s when Marcio decided to make a change.
Marcio and his sister grew up like so many others in the neighborhood — with a single mother in a small apartment. Their home was roach infested and their area was ridden with drugs and crime. But as much as their mother tried to protect and hold on to them, they reached their fate and ended up in foster care.
Life was a struggle for Marcio for as long as he could remember. But there was one thing that kept him going: his love for music.
Marcio eventually decided to take his chances on popular TV talent show, American Idol. When he first appeared in a previous season, he didn’t make the cut. But this time, he entered the audition room with something very different in his hands… His small nephew, Rashad. A child that changed his life.
6 months earlier, Marcio’s sister had unfortunately hit her own wall and was experiencing problems in her life. She was not able to care for her newborn son, Rashad.
Then one day, child services showed up at Marcio’s front door… with tiny Rashad in their arms.
“They came to me, they told me I only had 10 minutes to decide or he goes into the system,” Marcio explains.
He looked down at his nephew and in that moment the choice was all too obvious to him.
“So I said, ‘No thank you, I’ll take him.’ I took that responsibility on because I didn’t want him growing up the same way I grew up. I want to do this for him.”
Since that day, Marcio is caring for his nephew as his very own father; a difficult but most gratifying experience.
“I had no idea what I was doing, but actually he’s a real gift,” he says. “And it was the right decision, I know. He’s changed my life.”
Watch Rashad’s moving performance — joined by adorable 6-month-old Rashad — in the video below.
What a young man full of courage and love! This made my heart scream with love and hope. We need more men like Marcio in the world — please share if this angel moved you to your core, too!