"I'm about to start working with Sasha Bruce and the Youth Hype Program. It's family therapy for kids who are just coming out of the system. I used to work over at Score Educational Center and that's what really motivated the move into social work. The scope of what I was able to help with as an educator in DC was really limited and so I decided to go into social work. I know that 90% of people who need the help either can't or won't get it, but if I can get access to some of those kids who are coming out of drug courts...you know it's a numbers game. I used to canvas and when I was working for the Human Rights Campaign and would knock on 100 doors, if 50 people answered and 25 spoke to me and ten of them gave me money, it was a successful day. I think you are playing the same odds when it comes to social work here.
"So, my parents are thrilled! Because now we are actually going into people's houses. My Dad said, 'Kids, you've always been pretty fearless, but why don't you see if you can tone that down as you are going into those neighborhoods?
"My perception of DC is that it is very class divided. I mean, you step outside of Northwest or even to the edges of Northwest and it's like you are in a different city. I think that it is hilarious that the Real World is being filmed on the corner of S and 19th because I don't think that people in other cities or in other areas know that that is ridiculous real estate. That is not the real world! Nineteen-year-olds do not fucking live in houses like that. You know, maybe if they put a Real World house in Petworth, that would make more sense. But, they would probably never do that."
Read more about the impact of the Real World on DC at Anti-Real World DC, DCist and Going Out Gurus. Or, if you're into the Real World and want to know their whereabouts, check out the Washingtonian.
Shawn Parell and I conducted this interview.