After that tragic evening when Motorcycle Boy was shot to death by the police, Steve decided to do everything he could to leave town. He began to believe that, if he wanted to get anywhere in life, he needed to work hard to make his dreams a reality. Steve's perspective about his own life changed dramatically after the death of Rusty's older brother. In Chapter 12, Steve admits to Rusty that he never went back to their neighborhood after Motorcycle Boy's death.
We get an idea of how much Steve has changed when we discover in Chapter 1 that Steve is attending college in Southern California. He tells Rusty that he is studying to be a teacher in high school. It is obvious that Steve no longer runs around with a bad crowd. This is the main way that he has changed. At the beginning of the story, we discover that Steve wants to share how his life has turned out since Motorcycle Boy's death, but Rusty isn't too interested in reminiscing about the past and about his brother.