Posts Tagged ‘LMU’

Last Tuesday, September 14th was a very good day for me. After a productive day, I was looking forward to attending ‘An Evening with Father G’ at my beloved Loyola Marymount University. Like always, Father G brought about a very big crowd – so big that LMU scrambled to find a bigger location to house the event. He’s just that popular.

Father G was there on a book tour he is doing for his newest book: “Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion”. You can pick up your copy at any major bookstores, or here: http://www.amazon.com/Tattoos-Heart-Power-Boundless-Compassion/dp/1439153027. However, instead of reading a chapter from the book or whatnot, Father G did it in true Homeboy fashion and just spoke from the heart. In that hour and a half, he told stories of the homies,┬ámany of which I personally knew, that brought a lot of the audience members to tears.

Kinship.

Blood Relationships are the subject that relate all of the stories that Father G presents in this newest book. Think about this… how many people in your everyday life connect to? Share a moment with? We are so accustomed to living our lives in a protective, personal-space bubble that we are scared to truly interact with people we don’t know. If there is no connection with others, how are we to truly know about them? … And then we go ahead and make assumptions about everyone around us – most of the time, they are completely wrong and negative assumptions. Doesn’t make sense at all. If you are to make a simple statement about a person or a group of people, I dare you to spend time with them and get to know them first before saying anything that you might regret. Based on my past experiences, I can almost bet that you will find yourself changing your mind. Try it.

Thanks to ITS at LMU, the full talk was recorded and you can enjoy it here! My favorite story is minutes 30:00 to 40:45, Gabriel’s story.

An Evening With Father Greg Boyle

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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.

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This blog is meant to relate some of the most important things that I have learned so far from the interactions that I have made in the last few years. These interactions have made a huge impact in my life, coming from one of the most overlooked population in our society, our juvenile youth. Since my sophomore year at LMU, I have volunteered at Homeboy Industries. Spending many afternoons there, I was able to speak with many of the Homies and learn from their life experiences. Now working with a study at USC, I am continuing on with these experiences that keep my passion for working with juvenile youth strong.

I hope that by reading this blog, you too, understand what these kids go through and don’t write them off as delinquents of our society.

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