January 8, 2013

Today we spent time at Homeboy Industries. This is a place for past gang members and people with criminal records to find support. Our tour guide, Orce did an amazing job at explaining all that Homeboy does. This is a greatly run non-profit organization with tons of free enterprise to sustain their efforts. People who come in start off in maintenance/janitorial jobs all making minimum wage. They can be as young as high schoolers. In fact, Homeboy Industries even has their own high school where students can work half a day and go to school for the other half of the day. At Homeboy Industries there are many different opportunities that are given such as: Tattoo removal, alcohol anonymous, drug classes, resume building, professional help, mental services, case workers, a cafe that serves organic food, a bakery, a farmers market, and their own line of chips and salsa plus many more. The business/marketing major in me became so fascinated by the organization and how it withstands in this economy but I am also astounded at the transformation and amazing opportunities the founder, Father Greg Boyle has provided to these people who are normally not given a second chance. I am so thankful for Homeboy and all that it has and will continue to do for this community. We ate lunch with our tour guide Orce and I got to know him a little better. He believed in wearing a tie to work everyday because he wants to represent Homeboy to the best of his ability. Orce is a true inspiration to all those at Homeboy Industries and made an impact in me and his story will remain in my heart.

Samantha Lara
St. Mary's University


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