My road in life took a while to figure out.
Stockton, California, where Omar grew up, was once named "America's Most Miserable City."
At home, Omar experienced physical psychological violence; he internalized that violence and started on a self-destructive path.
At one point, his principal met him at the steps of the school and told him to leave; he didn't know what his options were, so he just left.
Luckily, he had his older brother as a role model; his brother was the first of his friends to graduate high school.
He'd listen to his brother have intellectual conversations, and he felt powerless because he couldn't engage; decided he had to go back to school.
He was 23 when he went back to school; started at community college, where a Chicano Studies class caught his attention.
Realized "la cultura cura": culture cures; joined the Children's Defense Fund to help young people learn about and embrace their roots.
Says at times, seeing young people going through what he experienced can be taxing, but he stays positive, takes everything one day at a time.