The Beginning: Homeboy Industries

Posted: January 6, 2010 in Homeboy Industries
Tags: , , , , , ,

Homeboy Industries Mural, Boyle Heights

Here it is … This is the place where it all began: Homeboy Industries.

It all began sophomore year at LMU when I was talking to my friend about my interest in volunteering at Homeboy Industries. She told me her friend that already volunteered there and that she could introduce us. [Great!!] At the moment of meeting her we clicked right away on the basis of having the same philosophies about the marginalized of society. I knew that with her, I was about to begin an extraordinary journey! The next day we took a trip down to Boyle Heights after our classes.

Driving through the neighborhood, my friend was worried that I was going to be scared to be there; but I wasn’t, all I could think of was what I was about to experience. Once we got inside I felt a little out of place, to be honest; all of a sudden, I was surrounded by many former gang members – you know, the ones that your mom tells you to be careful with. But for some reason, I knew that I was safe in this place, there was no luring feeling in my gut telling me to get out of there! – instead, I knew that I was going to gain from this experience than lose anything from it. My friend introduce me to the volunteer coordinator and we got started right away. That afternoon we occupied a little room in the back of the building to tutor anyone who needed help with homework, classes or who were about to take their GEDs or other tests. After a few hours of tutoring and then talking to some of the Homies, I knew that I wanted to stay with this place and help out as much as I could. Most of the kids and younger adults, could not believe that my friend and I would go there by our free will and with no compensation. They kept asking us why and looking at us in disbelief. I realized that they think that no one in the world would care about them – ABSURD!! Right?

At this moment, I knew that I had to make it a point in life to give these young gentlemen and women a real chance to become successful and to break all of those stereotypes that hold them back. So … there you go, on that day of January 2006, is where my passion to work with juvenile youth began.

[[Mercc]]

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Comments
  1. Daisy says:

    I think it’s a blessing to be able to feel empathy for what others go through, and to take into consideration ALL of the factors that play a role in their problems. In order to reach people you have to first listen to what they have to say. I’m glad you’re so motivated. I admire those who live to fulfill the needs of others, and who truely, from their core, care about them as human beings. We all make mistakes, some more severe than others, and we all deserve to try time and time again, no matter how rich or poor, no matter how educated, no matter what. Keep it up :).

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