I was pushed out of Inglewood High School when I was 16. My Grandma lives around the corner from Chuco's and I would walk by the space every time I visited her. One day I came in.
My favorite memory of FREE LA High school was the LA for Youth march. There were 400 of us marching in the streets demanding more resources for youth. We took over and abandoned library - to say all these empty buildings should be turned over to the community - and we held it down even when the LAPD threatened to arrest us.
I like FREE LA. They don't put you down at all. They help you with your stuff. It feels like a family here, for realz.
After I graduate, I'm going to Southwest College. I want to work with either parole or to be a therapist for kids in placement. I want to be the chill one. My brother used to be in placement and the therapist was thinking that she was always right.
YOUTH JUSTICE COALITION wrote -
Meet some of the stars of FREE LA High School's Class of 2016: Jocelyn. Kevin. Dania. Bonnie. Josephine. Andrew. These students are graduating from high school while also helping to support their families, getting up in darkness to get younger brothers and sisters to school, working hard to get off Probation or Parole, and crossing borders with cement walls and razor wire (whether those borders separate parents from children in foster care, incarcerated youth from opportunities outside, or separate families across national boundaries). Some are raising their own children. Some leave school to go to a full-time job at night. All came back to high school at FREE LA - some with zero credits - after traditional schools pushed them out, suspended, expelled, arrested and even incarcerated them. Even when teachers, principals, Probation officers, and even some family and friends told them that a high school diploma was not in their future, they dared to believe that it was possible. And now they are graduating, and even more important, they are excited about what comes after graduation. Most impressive of all, these graduates have accepted that their own progress is not enough. They have helped to lead work to dismantle the school to jail track, expose the inhumanity of conditions inside juvenile halls, jails and prisons and challenged police violence. We also check back in with Francisco, a member of FREE LA High School's Class of 2015, to see what he's been up to since graduation. Take a few minutes to meet these graduates. And, if possible, make a donation to support the future graduates of FREE LA High School. THANK YOU!