page angle

Joel

Age 16, Long Beach

I’m from Mexico. I moved to Long Beach when I was one. My biggest ambition is to get a job, a good-paying job, so I can help out my mom. I want to help her to not stress over bills.

I’m involved in EM3 – Educated Men with Meaningful Messages. At EM3 we talk about different things like safe relationships and anything else that we want to learn like how to do the paperwork for getting a driver’s license permit or how to get into college. We also get help with school.

If I would have never done EM3, I would have not known what I know now. I wouldn’t be as intelligent. I would just be at home doing nothing. It’s helped me a lot with relationships. I’m trying to be in a relationship right now – a healthy relationship. It’s helped me know a lot more about my ethnicity and my community, and the people around me in my community.

My favorite thing about EM3 is when we’re all bonding and sharing ideas, coming out of our comfort zones and speaking for ourselves. A lot of us are solo, one-man wolves, but together we feel comfortable expressing ourselves.

Get updates on your local youth development movement

More from Long Beach