0 of 0

20120515_me_14.mp3?orgId=1&topicId=1091&aggIds=150002308&d=453&p=3&story=152704338&t=progseg&e=152276052&seg=14&ft=nprml&f=152704338

Nicholas McDonald grew up tempted by drugs and under pressure to hit the streets. Lacking male role models, the Maryland resident says he always saw his mom as "the apple of my eye."

Natasha Shamone-Gilmore tried to protect her son growing up. Now, 24-year-old Nicholas is doing his best to return the favor.

Nicholas' family is one of three Morning Edition is profiling in our series Family Matters: The Money Squeeze. Like so many 20-somethings, he is taking some extra time — at home — to chart his journey.

"I can't do whatever I want to do," he says. "My heart is in so many different places. I can't pick up and go."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.