It’s all about kinship, anti-gang leader tells educators
Jean Cowden Moore | September 7, 2012
If we see ourselves as benefactors serving others, we’re going to burn out, Father Greg Boyle told a gathering of educators Friday morning. Instead, we need to understand that when we set out to serve others, we succeed only when we work together, when the relationship is mutual, he said.
“I defy you to define who is the service provider and who is the service recipient,” Boyle said. “It’s mutual. … I don’t think I’ve ever saved a life, but I’ve had my life saved endlessly.”
Boyle, who founded Homeboy Industries as a way to get people out of gangs, spoke to local school administrators in Camarillo at a leadership event aimed at inspiring them as the school year gets going.
But Ivan Ruiz, 17, who was released from prison two months ago, also was there, at the suggestion of some school counselors. Before Boyle talked with the gathering, he talked with Ruiz, who came away with Boyle’s card and the prospect of a job.
“I seen gangs ain’t everything in life,” said Ruiz, who has a gang member tattoo on his face and said he has been in and out of prison.
“This gives me hope. There are a lot of resources through this.”
Photo credit: Richard Quinn, Ventura County Star
Tags: anti-gang services, Father Greg Boyle, Homeboy Industries