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I will start my journey back in 8th grade when I began
to hang around with the wrong people.
We started stealing little things from fellow student
and went all the way to breaking in and stealing things
out of a house and getting caught by the cops.

My first year in Waukegan high school I was involved in
a party crew, only we never threw a party, instead we
would go around beating people up and trashing peoples houses.

That summer my cousin and I joined the Latin Kings. I
kept it hidden from no one except my parents. Soon
school started and all the problems began as well.
Soon after I was expelled from school and there was no
hiding it from my parents anymore. I began to have a
lot of problems at home daily and began to smoke a lot
of weed to forget about everything else. I was forced
to get a job, but on the side I was a full time gang
banger. That summer I was arrested for the first time
for shooting at rival gang members in broad daylight.

I was sent to juvenile D.O.C. (department of
corrections) where I spent around 7 months for the
crime I had committed considering the car we shot up
had a baby inside. The whole time I was locked up my
mother would tell me to pray and this and that, I
wasn’t trying to hear that I was too busy gang bangin
the whole time. There is no hope for someone to change
when everyone around them has the exact same mentality
that all they have to live for is the thug life.

I was released and received my G.E.D as soon as I got out.
After that was back to gang bangin once again. I
began to smoke weed everyday and also selling it to
supply my habit mostly. I remember I would spend about
3 out of the 7 days of the week just out on the
street. I would leave my house early Friday morning
and not return until Monday morning sometimes. The
problems at home became so bad that my father was
given the authority that at a phone call I would be
hauled away for a parole violation. The whole time I
would bring guns and my stashes of weed that I had to
sell and began on schooling my little brother on what
gang bangin was all about. It got so bad that I was
ready and plotting on how to get rid of my dad because
I knew sooner or later he would be calling my parole
officer to have him come pick me up.

A couple of weeks later I was arrested for driving under
the influence of drugs and had my license taken away
after only 6 months of having gotten it. Two weeks after
that I was arrested for my second gun charger. This time I was
caught with it in my car. This time I was old enough
and was sent to the lake county jail. This time I was
facing 2-4 years in the penitentiary. I go before the
judge for my pretrial and all of a sudden he says I am
free to go home my case has just been dropped all of a
sudden. I had no objections at all, but rather a joy
that I had the chance to go back home. It was not
going to be that simple though. I had to go back to
juvenile d.o.c to face a parole violation charge and
was sentenced to serve 3 months for the crime I had
done. I was there for about 2 months when one day I
was called into the counselor office and was told that
a writ was sent for my arrest and was to be resent at
a court hearing in the lake county jail in about 2

I was again being charged with the same charge
of unlawful use of a weapon along with a dui charger a
fleeing and eluding charge and about 10 traffic
tickets that I had accumulated in one night. I was
placed in a cell with another young teenager my age
and we became pretty cool friends. We always talked
about how we were gonna change and not get wrapped up
in the same ordeal that had put us where we were then.

For me it was easy to say cause this time I was only
facing misdemeanor charges, but he was facing an
attempted murder charger and was sentenced to 32 years
in prison at the age of 17. I was back in d.o.c after
pleading guilty to all my charges and sentenced to
serve my sentence I had in juvenile d.o.c. This meant
that I would go back and since I had served about 1
month and a half in the county I would be going to the
next parole board as possible. Things turned out to be
different though. My girl back home told me she had
had a miscarriage and my eyes were opened to reality
then. I began to withdraw myself from the other
members of the Latin Kings and I began to pray
everyday and read the bible once in a while. I was
then transferred to another facility. Once I was there
I was informed I would start my parole violation time
all over again due to a screw up in my paperwork. I
began to really know about the man named JESUS CHRIST
who the bible talked about so much.

I would pray every night about going to the next parole
board and one after another they came and went and I never got the
chance to go. I began to loose my faith and was angry
at God for not letting me get my way. One day while at
a church service I spoke to a lady one on one and told
her how I felt and she gave me words of encouragement
that led me to reading the bible everyday and prayer
as well. Soon after I was released and began going to
church and to retreats that were offered through the
church and began to grow spiritually. Soon after the
guys came back into play and while attending a meeting
that got raided I was almost arrested once again and
lost my freedom only a month after being out of jail.

That was the day I called it quits. There was no more
gang banging for me I was tired of living the way I
did. I began to attend church a lot more and became
involved with Gang Outreach. Soon after I was married
and had a son the summer after that. I have been with
Gang Outreach almost 3 years now and the Lord has
worked plenty of miracles in my life. I got off parole
2 years after being out and a couple of weeks ago
received my drivers license back after having it
revoked for 3 years and seven months.

I look back now and see how much my parents played
a role in my deciding to get involved with the gang because
they were never there for me and It was easy to blame them
for my actions. I know there are a lot of people who
are living the same way for the same reason, but the
love you are trying to find in that gang , or in that
bottle or in that joint is right there before your
very heart all you have to do is ask CHRIST into your
heart and let him fill all the emptiness you have
inside. The bible tells us in 2nd Corinthians 5:17
that if any man be in Christ he is a new creation, the
old things have passed, behold everything has become
new. That is what happens when CHRIST comes into your
heart and fills the empty spots. ASK AND YOU SHALL


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