In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Campaign for Youth Justice is supporting a series on the impact of federal and state youth justice policies and practices and their disparate impact on Latinx families. This is the third blog in our series.
By Kent Mendoza, Policy Coordinator for the Anti-Recidivism Coalition & CFYJ Spokesperson
I was brought to this country at age six. I still remember the hardships my mom had to endure, coming to this country by herself, while living in Los Angeles searching a job that could support my siblings and I. It was very hard for her to raise me by herself while still trying to settle down in a foreign place. Her below living wage income meant that from the day I began my journey in this country, I was exposed to the harsh realities of living in a community where drugs, gangs, and violence were rampant. This environment, which was a mixture of hard working families and disinvestment in community supports for young people, became my “normal.”