Transformation Stories

James Horton: Compassion in Action

James came to Homeboy Industries after 28 years in prison. He was scared of the world, he says, “because all I knew was prison law. But life in society is much different.”

Homeboy offered him unconditional positive regard in a therapeutic community: one where he could develop trusting friendships and eventually become an incredible mentor to those coming off the streets and out of prisons to Homeboy.

“I love being free. I love being able to deal with problems rationally instead of physically. I embrace forgiving people for the things that they may have done to me. But [it’s selfish], because I want people to forgive me for the things I have done to them.

“I've passed on every bit of knowledge and positive information to the trainees here. I’ve gotten up every morning and I’ve looked forward to coming here. But I know I can do more now. I just needed the right medicine and Homeboy is the right medicine.”


Jose Arellano - Lost and found

Gabriel Lopez - Two generations in gangs, two generations of change

Juan Marquez: Constructing Confidence

Dorene Macias: parenting and paying it forward

Evan Hess: Father’s Day, every day

Lami Glenn: “Their generosity is what drives me”

Amie Zuniga: How an Accidental Transformation Led to a Life of Purpose

Mariana Enriquez: A Moment of Clarity

George Nunez: Being the Father He Never Had

Eugene Walker: An Advocate for Positive Living

Pedro Mata: Working for a Better Life

Jermaine Smith: “There’s nothing else like this”

Glenda Alvarenga: Hungry for Empowerment

Rasheena Buchanan: “You can’t get this kind of love anywhere else”

Hoang Pham: “Homeboy is my home”

Ruth Butler: “Now I love my life”

Brandy Harris: “Recognize who you are”

David Andrade: “Do it for yourself”

Javier Medina: Made from Scratch

Carlitos Asegura: Who are we? Homeboys! How long will we run? Forever!

Javier Chavez: Mind, Body, and Spirit

Christy Stillwell: From Victim to Advocate

Gordy Abriel: Stepping Into a Brighter Future

Victor Key: A Chance at Happiness

James Horton: Compassion in Action

Will Lopez: “I’ve had my second chance here—and my third, and my fourth”

Valerie Copeland: “Homeboy is a place where it is ok to be myself”

Orsy Jerez: Finding an Open Door

Marcus Avery: “It’s Family”

Brazil Jackson: “laugh a little harder, live a little longer”

Erika Vargas: The Small Word That Means Everything

Miguel Avila: “I Don’t Want to Let Myself Down”

Connie Cordero: The Point of Doing Well

Damond Johnson: “We Were at Homeboy for the Same Reason”

Janet Contreras: Connecting the Dots