Participant, Young Men Program, Lynn
Gangs, drugs, violence. That was the norm in Manny’s life two years ago. He had been in and out of DYS and jail in his youth and the center of his life was his gang. “Back then I didn’t care about anything,” he says. He didn’t know where to go or how to get out of the cycle he was stuck in. Then he met Henry, a Roca Youth Worker, and things started to change.
But change took time. At first, Manny avoided Henry at all costs. He didn’t feel like he needed Roca. But Henry reached out, day after day. “He never gave up on me,” says Manny, “even if I wasn’t easy to deal with.” When Manny didn’t respond to his many calls, texts, and knocks on his door, Henry would keep coming back.
Eventually, Manny gave up and let Henry in.
“Henry helped me realize that there’s a different side of me. He never gave up on me.” Henry was as relentless as a youth worker can be – and Manny learned that he could trust him. This trust turned into dramatic changes in Manny’s life.
After countless classes and trainings at Roca Lynn, Manny has proven himself to be a hard worker and great employee. Manny now works as a lead technician for a garage door company. “I’ve got my life back on track,” he says. “No more jail. No more probation.”
“You made your family the center of your new life,” shared Emily Fish, the Assistant Director of Roca Lynn, in front an audience of hundreds at Roca’s Annual Breakfast. And Manny agrees. “I have a family, an apartment, and a career. There’s nothing else I could ask for.”
Between his daughter’s gymnastic classes and the next garage he has to fix, the team at Roca Lynn can hardly keep up with his success.
“Henry helped me realize that there’s a different side of me. He never gave up on me.”