My first job changed my life, because at the time I was at a down point in my life. As you may-or-may-not know, my appearance appears to be “ghetto” as some teachers would describe my outfits. At that down point in my life, I had a lot going through my mind. Because of what teachers would say about me, they would say smart remarks like when I would say “I want to go to UC Berkeley”, they would comment, “Let’s get through high school first and you can dream later.” It would make me angry, but to get back at them I would show them that a DGK (dirty ghetto kid) from the streets can change their life in an instant and still be the same person with the same attitude, and AccessLocal.TV helped me do exactly that.

When I got arrested by a school officer last year, I had to do detention and community service. My detention teacher who witnessed the incident with the officer told me “I don’t know where you will be in the next ten years.” I replied “What’s that supposed to mean?” My friend said “He doesn’t know if you will be dead or locked up in jail in the next ten years.” I thought about that for a while and I just had a lot of negativity that influenced my decisions. It made me think if I should just give up and go home but then I had a wake up call.

I soon went to the La Familia Counselling Center for my community service hours and  I met a man named Isaac Gonzalez. I was in a program called “Youth Voice” and Isaac was offering a program called the Neighborhood News Correspondents. I was instantly interested because now I could be heard and change the way people see the people from my community, and I was already writing and making videos as a hobby. I soon did a video on my old campus on a program that was in called “Jr. Rise”. I saw my old teachers and they would asked if I dropped out, I would laugh and show them my Access badge and they would tell me “This your job badge?” I would say “Yes and I love my job and I’m actually on the clock right now.” They would also say “That’s a great program, I’m happy that your starting your life and you take life serious now.”

The program was incredible. I got to go to events in my community and find resources I never knew about around my area. I really liked how it was something I love doing and when I went to work I was happy to work. Access really helped me grow into the man I am today. Thank you Isaac Gonzalez and Ron Cooper from Access Sacramento for selecting me for this program and for helping me show those teachers I’m not just another dirty ghetto kid, I’m a special dirty ghetto kid with a voice.