Nominated by Angelia Baker
“I am nominating Abel Shaw. I have personally observed this young man turn his life around.
Abel is no stranger to gun violence. Growing up in Colorado, he was exposed to gun violence from an early age. There were many temptations placed before him and at times we were unsure if he would end up in the department of corrections or dead. Abel decided to take a different path and get involved with his mom’s organization Compound of Compassion. Abel once told me that he wants to be involved to help older people like his grandmother,that she was always doing so much for others and he wants to help out too.
I came to know Abel, through his mother. However, what I learned about Abel did not come from what his mother told me. It came from him on a long snowy ride to the hospital. Abel is one of the drivers for Generation Drive Thru a youth led program in which Compound of Compassion makes food deliveries to those in need in the community. I had reached out to his mother letting her know that I was scheduled to have a medical procedure and would not be able to drive for 4-6 weeks. She added me to the list of food deliveries. One day when Abel was making a food delivery, he noticed that I didn’t come to the door. He became concerned because that was not normal for me. He had his mom call me. When she did, I explained that I was in alot of pain, I could barely move and felt like I needed to go to the emergency room. His mother relayed this information to Abel and he immediately sprung into action asking if I could make it to the door to let him in. I managed to get to the door and Abel got me to the car and safely to the hospital. He offered to wait with me, but the wait was extremely long and I told him to go home. He asked that I call him directly when I was done so that he could make sure I got back home. When I was done, Abel came and did just that. For the next few weeks, Abel told his mom that he needed to make sure that I got to all my appointments and that if I needed a ride anywhere that I should call him. He made sure that I had a food box weekly and would always knock on my door and wait for a response to make sure I was alright. I saw the concern and compassion in this young man whereas several months before this society had written him off as a violent youth. I continued to see a change in Abel every time I saw him.
He wanted to do better in life. He wanted to make a difference. He became more involved with Compound of Compassion. He distanced himself from those who were out to cause trouble and he focused on making a difference, doing something that both his grandmother and mother would be proud of. Not a day goes by that Abel doesn’t ask his mother if I need anything. He even asked me on our last ride together, “Can I call you ‘mom’ too? I just have so much respect for you Momma T.” Of course I said yes.
Abel is a youth of second chances. He deserves a second chance out of life. I believe with the right guidance, opportunities, and mentorship he can continue on a path of compassion.”