As a young child growing up in Richmond, California, I faced many negative situations and difficult challenges.  If it were not for a select few that showed me love, care, and hope, I may not have had the opportunity to dream of a better life. These concerned adults created a crossroads in my mind, where I gained the opportunity to choose a better life for myself. The odds were against me, but their time, care, and their positive example helped me to overcome those obstacles.

Since, I’ve received an M.B.A. and I am currently a CEO of several successful businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area, an author of the book “Who Said So?” and I have received several honors for contributions to the East Bay community.

Sadly, I was not expected to succeed given the environment and obstacles I faced; I was expected to be another negative statistic. I consider myself very fortunate to have overcome many obstacles and challenges on my personal path to achieving success. I will never forget where I came from, nor will I forget those that loved me enough to give me a chance to make something of myself by cultivating the right desire and skills to prepare me for a productive future.  My own story has become the fuel behind my relentless efforts to giving back to an underserved generation.

The time has come that we must make a separation between the youth who are accepting their current direction as being good enough, and those who know in their heart that they can be successful if they just knew how. Contrary to popular opinion, inside the hallways, cafeterias, and oversized classrooms, lies a troop of youth who are not satisfied and are confident that they can make a change. As thoughts of success enter their mental sky they are often overshadowed with clouds of anxiety and storms of confusion about where to start. I will not rest until we expose as many youths as possible to a different way of thinking.  If we could, at a minimum, create a crossroads to show youth that they have an alternative.  If we, at a maximum, can ensure every life that we touch gets on a pathway to success, we have won. I will not stop believing that all youth can go against all odds to be successful.  For if I do, then my own life would be a lie.