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James, 21

james

James, California

James was a victim of abuse throughout his childhood, which led to drug problems and gang involvement. By the time he was 17 James was facing a possible prison sentence of 30 years and had few advocates or allies. As James puts it, it was the action of one person that changed him forever. This individual was the founder of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition.

James says this is the reason he has dedicated his life to being there for those who have no one. James left his gang and became a positive role model for his peers while he was still in prison.  Through his work with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, he now offers support  to youth who lack role models or advocates. He has spoken at multiple conferences around the country, discussing safety and health in those communities. James has helped raise $400,000, enabling the Coalition to now serve 120 members. He hopes to help expand the work of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition throughout the state of California and into other states. According to James, “I realized how important it is for us as human beings to know someone is there for us.”

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2015 peace first prize winners

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