Hey Everybody! I had the opportunity to meet an amazing young man this summer. His name is Juan. He grew up in a rough neighborhood surrounded by violence and gangs in Rialto. As many of his peers, Juan started down the path he knew, and joined a gang. Before his Junior year, he met the water polo coach and joined the team. This was a transformational moment in his life. He dropped out of the gang a focused on sports and academics. He was able to get good grades and was a member of his high school's Academic Decathlon team. As a result of this complete change in his life, he was accepted to Cal Baptist University in Riverside. For him, this was a dream come true. Sadly, his home life did not improve. He lived with his mother and stepfather, and his father was pretty much absent from his life. When he turned 18 in the middle of his senior year, his mother kicked him out of the house. He spent the remainder of the year staying with a friend and managed to graduate. This summer, he had been couch surfing with friends, when possible, but has spent many nights on the streets not knowing where his next meal would come from. This also put him in danger of running into his former gang members, who are under instruction to assault him for dropping out. He managed to save the money he earned working as a lifeguard to pay the deposit for CBU. He has been given scholarships, grants, and student loans, but is still short on his tuition for the year. He has spent the summer trying to find someone to co-sign another loan as his parents are unable or unwilling, but to no avail. As such, he is on a payment plan which requires that he come up with $1500 dollars each month; a nearly impossible task for a full-time student. He has managed to secure a safe place to live during the school year, so that is one less worry.
This is where you all come in, whatever money we can raise will go a long way in helping this young man to escape the environment in which he was raised. As many of you know, I have spent the last 13 years working with parolees, trying to help them turn their lives around. Many of my students have come from the neighborhood in which Juan was raised. This time, I am working to keep a bright, motivated young man from becoming another statistic.
Please consider making a donation in any amount. I will administer the account and ensure this money is directly applied to Juan's tuition.