Raised primarily by his mother, Arnold was quickly subsumed by street life. Prior to his third detention in a juvenile facility, Arnold was heavily gang entrenched and a young father. But while at Camp David Gonzales, Arnold immersed himself in the C/HOPE program and began taking classes.
While in the Score class, held on Saturdays at Camp David Gonzales, Arnold listened to professionals tell him and the other students about their career paths and offer firsthand advice to youth as they embarked on their professional development. It was in this class that Arnold began to develop his own career goals, formulating a plan for a career in auto-mechanics. Upon Arnold's release from Camp Gonzales, Fernando, Director of the C/HOPE program at camp, helped Arnold get his start by buying his first tools.
Since then, Arnold has worked with Edwin, a C/HOPE Youth Navigator, who is an alum of Camp G. Now in college and a father of two young children, Edwin understands firsthand the challenges youth face when they re-enter their communities and work toward their goals. Megan, his re-entry counselor, has also been meeting regularly with Arnold to discuss time management strategies and life skills that will support his efforts. His goal is to work at Honda or any such dealer or in an auto shop.
In addition to his other commitments, Arnold has become an informal mentor during C/HOPE community engagements and even takes the time to introduce youth who have recently been released from Camp G. to his school campus (LATTC). Megan and Edwin have assisted Arnold in continuing to develop and follow his educational plan and maintain employment, attending job fairs with Arnold and connecting him with internship opportunities.
With the birth of his second child and now a third one on the way, Arnold needs support for his growing family. Both Edwin and Megan are there to provide guidance as well as to help him secure costly needed resources such as diapers as well as carseats and strollers, through nonprofit partner organizations Baby Buggy.
"Before kids, I didn't care about my responsibilities. Now, I have matured and think differently. For example, instead of hanging out, I'd rather be with my kids, take them to the park. I've broken the negative cycle I grew up with."