“I have big expectations for my life. I want to get involved in government so that I can make a difference in people’s lives… maybe be mayor or something like that,” said Louis. These are the dreams that Louis has for himself and he overcame tremendous adversity to get to this point.
Louis’ mom brought him here from Mexico when he was just two. She worked hard as a housekeeper and in restaurants to put food on the table. Louis never made life easy for his mom. From the time he was in elementary school, he was a rebel. He was very talkative and didn’t do his homework. It’s no surprise that neither one of these characteristics endeared him to his teachers. At thirteen, he got into drugs and serious fighting. His mother couldn’t handle his behavior, so he was in and out of juvenile court and various court dictated anger management programs. Louis just couldn’t avoid being sucked into the detrimental environment around him.
Louis’ mom never went to high school, so she didn’t appreciate the value of an education. What she needed was someone to help pay the bills. As a result, in middle school when Louis kept acting out, his mom let him drop out of school to work in a local warehouse. Trouble continued to plague Louis’ life. He brought his bad attitude to the work place, and after three months, he lost his job and found himself back in trouble. This time he found spirituality through mandatory classes and his probation officer gave him one last chance to return to school. Thankfully, Fort Worth Can Academy was on the list of schools that were still options for him.
Louis came to Fort Worth Can Academy two years behind, but he’ll be graduating on time because he invested himself completely in school. He attended morning, evening and Saturday school in addition to completing credit recovery classes. Louis explained, “Here the teachers reach out to you if you are engaged. If you are a distraction, they let you go. Your choice is simple. If it wasn’t for Fort Worth Can Academy, plenty of us wouldn’t be graduating and wouldn’t have the kind of life we now have to look forward to.”
Louis spoke proudly about the role he has assumed in his younger brothers’ lives. “I want to be a good role model for my two younger brothers. I let them know the importance of a good education and I’m involved in their lives. The Pee Wee football team parents even point to me as a role model,” he said with a smile on his face. Louis spoke proudly about his upcoming graduation and his plans for college. The thing that truly brought a smile to his face was that he was voted Prom King when the entire basketball team was vying for the honor. Perhaps this is a sign that being elected mayor isn’t such a long shot for Louis.