Dylan Gray was 13 and living with his mother in L.A.'s "white-picket-fence suburbs" when she lost her job and their home. After "months of searching and living on minimal resources," his mom found a position on the East Coast and his parents decided he should live with his dad in Inglewood.
Eddie Flores was born when his mother was 13. His father was incarcerated and his mother was raising five children alone. "She tried so hard to prevent me from being out in the streets," Eddie says, but he had no additional adult support.
Jerry Alvarez is a youth leader representing the coalition member organization Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network (GSAN). "Growing up in a Chicano immigrant family," Jerry says, "I have felt unsafe and powerless at school and in my community. From ICE raids to President Trump's hateful statements, my family and neighborhood are under attack."
Now 23, Joshua Ham helped define what it means to be a Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition youth leader at the tender age of 15. His powerful description of his high school's in-school suspension program, run by a former prison guard, resonated with his peers, got the attention of decision-makers and helped to bring about its immediate closure.