My road in life has taken me all over.
I grew up in East Los Angeles in a multigenerational gang-affiliated family and was exposed to violence, poverty, and drugs from a very young age.
At eight years old, I was caught stealing bikes; by age 14, I was arrested for grand theft auto; by my late teens, I was addicted to drugs and had committed armed robbery and other crimes.
In 2007, at the age of 35, I left prison for the last time and made the decision to change my life.
I found support on my reentry journey by participating in behavior modification programs like Amistad de Los Angeles, which helped me better understand myself.
Started taking classes at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College in subjects like community building, professional development, mentoring, and conflict resolution.
Began working as an organizer and employment specialist directly in communities heavily affected by gangs, violence, drugs, and incarceration in the hopes of disrupting those cycles.
I became a certified employment development professional and got a job working as a job specialist for Friends Outside in Los Angeles County and a case manager for their Dads Back! Academy.
In 2017, I was the recipient of the Harriet Tubman Distinguished Award at the inaugural Beyond the Bars LA Conference.
Keep following my journey