It’s not about where you start at, it’s about where you end at. I truly believe those words. My name is Javier Raygoza & I’ve had quite the journey. I was born to teenage parents that were involved in a gang lifestyle. I quickly picked up & mimicked many of their behaviors. As a result I made frequent trips to juvenile hall.
By the time I was 16 the El Monte PD & district attorney successfully built a case against me that included a gang enhancement. That was enough to seal my fate & send me to the California Youth Authority.
I spent the majority of my time in Fred C Nelles where there were many test & obstacles. At first I embraced the harsh & brutal reality that I was living in but after reading the book The Four Agreements I decided I did not want to spend the rest of my life behind bars. Suddenly my small world seemed a lot bigger so I wanted to see what else it had to offer. Although I wanted to change I had to be mindful of where I was & not allow weakness to be displayed.
2 weeks before I paroled my grandmother passed away & I was heartbroken. That was the first time I believed I used a negative experience as motivation. I vowed to never put myself in a situation where I would not “be there” when my family & loved ones needed me most. She passed away without being able to say goodbye. I took that from her.
I changed my life around, got married & had 4 beautiful babies. With each child I learned a lot. My fourth child (Aztlana) was born with special needs & her experiences have pushed me while testing me more than I have ever been in my life. She taught me a new strength that I never knew existed. She taught me vulnerability, emotions & humility could also be strengths.
I now look back at my past & I’m motivated to grow even more. I’m no longer that angry kids that ended up in YA. I’m no longer that uncertain young man that started a family. Today I am a happy confident man that is looking forward to the next stage of growth & development.
I now use my clothing line, art, YouTube page & music to aide in that growth. I have heard many stories thanks to YouTube. Each of my guest teach me something new. There are so many people that were like I was & made significant changes. I used to think we were little more than statistics now I know we’re a force to be reckoned with.
I’m excited for the future. To see the growth of all my Y.A Babies & everyone that supports us. Much love & respect!!!!