At the age of 24, John’s successful retail clothing store had grown from just one location to 22 in only three years time. With the success came the pressure to sustain a certain lifestyle. This inadvertently led to his role in an insurance fraud scheme that resulted in a 25-years-to-life sentence.
John’s second chance came after working directly with the CROP (Convicts Reaching Out to People) program in his prison. This program brought teenagers in from alternative and delinquent schools to hear the stories of convicts and how their decisions as teenagers ultimately led to their incarcerations. Teachers and administrators were deeply impressed with John, in particular, and saw how his words drastically affected the students. Many students wrote letters to John to thank him for turning their lives around.
When John had worked for five years with the CROP program, teachers and administrators traveled from San Diego to San Francisco to lead a campaign to release him from prison. After 20 years of incarceration, John was released into society on March 23, 2012. With just $600, John started his new life and career as a motivational speaker and author.
Today John travels through San Diego speaking at schools and counseling troubled youth. He is also the author of three books, including "The Dirty Nasty Truth: 18 True Crime Stories & 10 Life in Prison Stories to Stop Juvenile Delinquency." He hopes that, through his commitment to reaching out to juvenile delinquents, he can stop the cycle of crime and help them discover their goals and dreams.
A loan through Kiva will enable John to purchase more books to be sent to schools. His new book will be a resource that can be given to students that don’t have the opportunity to see him speak. With your help, John can reach students through San Diego and the nation.
For more information on John and his work as a speaker and author, visit www.stopdelinquency.org.