Hi. My name is Kevin. Before I became a student at FREE LA High school, I was pushed out of my regular school due to my grades and lack of credits. My friend told me about FREE LA. I was surprised that they accepted me, because I was made to feel like I wasn't a good student.
Before FREE LA, I didn't plan to go to college or nothing. But this school opened my eyes to how hard it is to make it out there without an education.
My plans after graduation are to go to college. I already got accepted to two colleges - Santa Monica and West LA. I want to study music production.
FREE LA is different than other schools because of the way that they communicate; the way that they see the students. They get to know you as an individual. They help you out more. They focus on you.
My favorite memory of my time at FREE LA is the Old Skool vs. New Skool basketball game. It was fun. There was music, a DJ and free food. Old Skool was cool. They all had been locked up, and before playing they told us how prison impacted them and how we can avoid it happening to us. It was tight.
I wouldn't be where I am at right now if it weren't for the YJC. I probably wouldn't be going to college. It's east to get stuck and stop dreaming.
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!