Hector's Story

Hector was introduced to gangs as a young child. He was heading towards leading a life of crime before coming to Eastside Academy.

I was born in Mexico City, and growing up I saw a lot of abuse towards my mother. My dad was an alcoholic and eventually my parents got divorced. When I was 6-years-old, my mom took my sister and I to live with my uncle in Seattle. For the first couple of months, we bounced around from place to place until my mom got a job. With my mom working all the time, she couldn’t really keep an eye on me and that’s when I started hanging out with the wrong group of people.
As a seventh grader, I was introduced to gangs for the first time, and even though I was never a part of any gang, I knew a lot of people that were involved with them. I developed some bad habits, and I started skipping school. That’s when I started stealing. It was starting to get out of hand, and I didn’t want to continue down that road.
I knew about Eastside Academy because my sister was already going there. My mom saw how much this school was helping her, and she wanted the same for me. I was intimidated at first because I didn’t know anyone, but it wasn’t long before I started really liking this place. It’s been a good experience for me. You get so much help from the staff and you can talk to them and not feel judged.

My favorite thing about this school is how close we all are. We do so many cool things here—retreats, community service projects, and summer barbecues. I really like being on the basketball team. It makes me feel like I was a part of something, and it feels good being on a team. EA is my second family. It feels like home.

Will you help Hector continue to live a crime free life?

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