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THE VOICE OF A MENTOR

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THE VOICE OF A MENTOR

Growing up in Pomona, was always mixture of emotions, from good and bad, and happy to sad; as cliché as it sounds, there were a lot of smiles a lot of cries.I was always the kid who knew I had the potential to do something great or change my life with the right guidance; but wouldn’t be shown until later in life. After getting involved with JU4Y, becoming a mentor and learning the duties that come with being one, I realized that mentorship was everything I needed growing up, and that know I was put in a position to be the person I needed when I was younger.
Being a mentor is more than a job for me, it’s an opportunity filled with responsibilities.Mentoring gives a mentor the opportunity to shape young person’s life, provide them with the tools necessary to better themselves and the lives of others; mentees also learn how to keep healthy relationships, healthy boundaries and receive positive opportunities that wouldn’t receive from anybody else. Being a mentor is no…

From Suburbia to Africa to Pomona

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My Journey from Suburbia to Africa to the Inner City By Paul Hudak I grew up completely different than most of the youth I serve.  I grew up with a great family, a loving and providing father and mother, and my older brother and younger sister. My life with both parents being present was amazing.  I was blessed to receive everything I needed including all the love and support necessary for me to mature into the man I am today.  
Life was normal all the way through high school, but it wasn’t until I went to college that I developed a passion to work with those who were less fortunate than I.  It was my senior year in college and a spirit of adventure and humanitarianism inspired me to go to Africa. That year I got connected with a Catholic Priest from Kenya.  He saw that I had this huge heart to go and serve young people in Africa so we exchanged emails and Facebook information and the rest was history.  A couple months passed and I set a date and a place do my work, in the villages of Ke…

THE GHOST OF MY FATHER

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I’ve never thought life would be hard, I never thought anything of it as a kid. I just always remember I felt I had to prove myself to my family. And it wasn’t to fit in, it was to be accepted. I once had a good father in my life, I was closer to him more than my mom. He was always there. But things changed. He went ghost on me. Nothing was more painful than to have a dad that didn’t want me no more. How can a man kick his family out of the house to move in with a drug addict girl with 3 kids. One of the kids happened to be my half-sister. It hurt me when he promised to pick me up and take me with him, and he never showed up.

I moved to Pomona and never thought I would witness such violence, abandonment, drugs, gangs, and sleepless nights because I was worried that someone would shoot up my house. I was always vulnerable as a kid, as I got older I never thought I would become the person I was. I was selling drugs and stealing. I just remember the time I sold my uncle meth when he looke…

Baskin robbins, roller coasters and gangsters

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Baskin robbins, roller coasters and gangsters

It was a Tuesday...I was about to drive home after a long day of work. I had just finished up a day spent with youth in my city. I sat with them, talked with them, and listened to their stories about suffering, gang life, and the woes of the inner city. Hearing their personal stories once again rocked me into the harsh reality of their lives. I was blown away. By the end of the day I was emotionally exhausted from listening and my heart was shattered. I felt my emotions begin to well up as I was walking to my car, and after using whatever strength I had left to climb in, I paused and took a deep breath. I buckled my seat belt, and then completely broke. Every time I closed my eyes for a moment all I could see was the innocent faces of those teens. I couldn't help, but hear the silent cry of "SAVE ME," as I peered into their eyes.

The sad truth was their lives were shattered because of the dysfunction of those around them.  T…