Transformation Stories

Lami Glenn: “Their generosity is what drives me”

Lami Glenn is fascinated by the sociology classes he’s taking at Los Angeles Community College, but the truth is, he’s been studying human behavior since he was a kid growing up in South Central L.A.

“I knew at 12, 13, 14 that if I ever had kids, I’d want to raise them differently from how I was raised,” he says.

When he enrolled in Homeboy’s 18-month Job Training program, he signed up for Project Fatherhood, a joint venture with Children’s Institute Inc., which helps men develop tools to become positive influences in their children’s lives. Unlike most of the men in the group, Lami wasn’t a father—he just wanted to be ready when the time came.

The time came sooner than he expected, when he learned that his ex-girlfriend was pregnant.

“I’ve gotten a lot of insight on how to deal with co-parenting,” Lami says. “The main thing I see in the group is that all these guys genuinely love their kids. They’re crushed when they can’t spend time with them.”

As he awaits his baby’s birth, Lami tries to stay focused on school and his job at Homeboy. He was just made a Navigator—a peer mentor position in which he’ll provide guidance to other trainees. But even at his previous post behind the cash register at the Homeboy Merchandise store gave him plenty of opportunity to observe daily life at Homeboy.

“The coolest thing is the people who come here every day because they’ve been inspired by Father G and they want to help,” he says. He admits that, just as visitors to Homeboy often change their perceptions about former gang members, he has reconsidered how he sees white people. “I see that it’s not a color thing. People who give to Homeboy are all different ages and religious backgrounds too. Their generosity is what drives me.”

Lami especially enjoys interacting with school groups, and hopes to work in the field of youth gang intervention, helping kids who face the same struggles he once did.

“If I’d grown up in Beverly Hills, I wouldn’t have had the same problems. But you’re born where you’re born. There were probably twenty liquor stores in a couple of miles from me, but no bookstores or libraries.”

As Lami reflects on the world around him and sets goals for the future, it’s plain to see that his child—by virtue of having a loving and well prepared father—will get off to a strong start in life.


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

Connie Cordero: The Point of Doing Well

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

Erika Vargas: The Small Word That Means Everything

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

Marcus Avery: “It’s Family”

Orsy Jerez: Finding an Open Door

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

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

James Horton: Compassion in Action

Victor Key: A Chance at Happiness

Gordy Abriel: Stepping Into a Brighter Future

Christy Stillwell: From Victim to Advocate

Javier Chavez: Mind, Body, and Spirit

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

Javier Medina: Made from Scratch

David Andrade: “Do it for yourself”

Brandy Harris: “Recognize who you are”

Ruth Butler: “Now I love my life”

Hoang Pham: “Homeboy is my home”

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

Glenda Alvarenga: Hungry for Empowerment

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

Pedro Mata: Working for a Better Life

Eugene Walker: An Advocate for Positive Living

George Nunez: Being the Father He Never Had

Mariana Enriquez: A Moment of Clarity

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

Lami Glenn: “Their generosity is what drives me”

Evan Hess: Father’s Day, every day

Dorene Macias: parenting and paying it forward

Juan Marquez: Constructing Confidence

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

Jose Arellano - Lost and found