By MARCUS ESTES and LILY VILLA GARCIA
Despite all the challenges he endured as a child, Manteca High senior Raleigh McQuarters has managed to transform negativity into positivity in a way that would inspire others.
His resiliency enabled him to push through struggles – poverty and moving, to name a few – and developed a passion for hobbies such as storytelling, writing music, and creating animations. Driven by compassion, humor, and light-heartedness, the 17-year-old is there for his friends when they need him, serving as a role model to his peers. McQuarters recently sat down with Tower News to tell his story.
Tower News: I understand you moved around a lot as a kid. What can you tell us about the reasons why and what effect that had on a kid like you?
Raleigh McQuarters: I moved around maybe three or four times, if I had to throw a number out there. In short, my family wasn’t really bringing in enough income to keep the houses. … I had to learn to let go of a lot of things, because I’d make friends at school and be happy and then move again. As a kid, that let me know that the more friends I had, the more connections, the more it’s going to hurt when I move. So, I learned to make friends but keep them at a distance.
TN: Tell us about what you do, your Arzen YouTube channel, you make music, so tell us how did you find these things?
RM: My grandma always wanted her children to be successful. She would encourage us, in case we didn’t know what we wanted to do, a lot of times she would encourage us to go into the field of being a doctor … things like that just to be able to live comfortably here in California, because compared to other places it can be a bit expensive, right? So, I found out that I liked animating and stuff like that because I watched cartoons and anime. And it piqued (my interest) how stuff was moving on the screen, motion pictures and stuff, like these are all one-by-one pictures in order to make motions and that was pretty cool to me. So, I went on YouTube one day and found that a lot of people were posting their own content on there and it was interesting, and it was fun. I dabbled in there a little bit and eventually made my own channel. I got a couple of hundred subscribers now so I’m doing something right.
TN: If you had any advice for somebody in your position, what would you tell them?
RM: Obviously, you need to promote yourself in life. Right now, you’re not in the best position, so you have to put in the work to get to a better one. Go get a job. Do your research. And study up on things that can help you in the future. The best piece of advice I can give someone is to have your money work for you. Start you a business or something, something that can (build on) itself.
TN: What kind of impact do you want to leave on the people around you?
RM: I want to inspire people to put out their own energy, and not rely on other people and take on their energy. If you put out your own energy, the right people will come into your life, and that will make your own life even better. Be the person that you want other people to be.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Marcus Estes is a junior Journalism student at Manteca High School. Estes plays the small forward position in basketball and spends most of his time working on things important to him, such as school, music, basketball, and journalism.
Lily Villa Garcia is a senior Journalism student at Manteca High. Among many hobbies, her favorites are writing, shopping, sleeping, and binge-watching shows. One day she hopes to become successful and travel the world, until then she is taking one step at a time.