My road in life has been direct.
Says he "won the zip code lottery" and grew up in a part of Los Angeles where there were no gangs.
After being ordained as a priest, he was assigned to the poorest parish in the city with the highest concentration of gang activity in the world.
He'd ride his bike around his neighborhood, where eight different gangs were at war; says he tried his best to "put out fires."
From 1988 to 2015, he buried almost 200 members of his parish who died as a direct result of gang violence.
Started asking gang members in his parish, "What would help you?"-they replied by saying they needed jobs and schools that would accept them.
In 1992, a movie producer approached him and wanted to help; they decided to buy a bakery and hire ex-gang members as their staff.
Homeboy Industries is now the largest gang intervention re-entry program in the world; 15,000 people come through their doors each year.
Says he's stuck with the work because he loves the people and finds them "eternally interesting and noble."
Keep following my journey