Andy O.

So, I was asked to tell my story and I will.

My story starts May 31 of 1974.

I was born two loving parents Rebecca and Clemente Ortega. I was raised in the small town of Frisco, as was much of my family. As far back as I can remember my family has always been sport involved. Growing up I had dreams to be the next great University of Texas QB or pitcher.

Let’s shoot ahead and see where the trouble began, I’ve always thought alcohol abuse was genetic. My grandfather was a heavy drinker(died from it) as was my father in his younger days; mom drank occasionally. Both of my parents smoked’ so I said I would do neither.

I had a pretty normal childhood, always involved in sports. At the age of five I took up boxing and was pretty good. This ended being a very tough time in my life, my grandfather would ridicule me and say things like can’t you hit harder sissy or maybe you should wear a dress. At the age of seven we lost him, but what happened next was where I believe it all began. The year I turned 8 my coach, uncle was gunned down in a grocery parking lot. Needless to say I was devastated, I didn’t talk to anyone about it,kept it all bottled up; I was a ticking time bomb.

The next couple of years didn’t have much excitement besides sport. In 1989 I moved to Little Elm and didn’t know the effect it would have on my life. The first two years of high school were normal, I excelled in football and baseball. My junior year things started to change I got into pot and sales, I really didn’t like to smoke. Not long after came the alcohol. My senior year was nothing short of great, but I didn’t think it was a problem, because I didn’t get slobbering drunk.

In 1993 I graduated and off to college I went, but not where I thought I would, and I stayed in state which was the biggest problem of all. The drinking got worse,and I began to experiment with other drugs, cocaine being the drug of choice. In 2003 I had a rude awakening and got busted in Dallas; I was facing a 10 year sentence on first offense. Scared and alone the only two I had were my parents, at this time I did not know that a shop teacher would have an effect on my life.

So the thing that probably saved my life was a judge in Dallas sentencing me to 8 months in a government rehab. After all this was done I spent 3 years being sober, had a child and things were looking good. In 2008 I got dealt with another huge blow and there was a divorce in my near future. I went to a hole and closed down, I was attending AA/Na and decided to fight for my daughter. In 2010 I was awarded custody and she now lives with me and is A straight a student. I live one day at a time,sometimes it’s the hardest thing you do…but one thing is for sure Schindler (the Shop Teacher) has become a best friend, a mentor to this day; we still talk, he’s a non bias ear.

There are so many other people that had been involved and you know who you are. I now live in Frisco, have my own flooring business, have a beautiful girlfriend and we are raising two kids. If it wasn’t for second chances I’d probably just be another number in the system.