On the day of my 17th birthday, I found myself on a bus being transported to a California state prison where I was sentenced to 15-years-to-life.
During the first decade of my incarceration, I was bitter, angry, and hopeless. Facing a life sentence, I soon succumbed to the belief that I was never going to be free again.
But in 2014, new legislation went into effect that gave me - and many other juvenile lifers - hope. That led me to earn my Associate's degree and participate in several vocational trade programs. That made me realize that one day, I could be reunited with my family.
Today, I'm asking for your help to spread that hope to more than 120,000 people who are currently incarcerated in California prisons.
The California Legislature recently passed several bills that would prioritize rehabilitation and give people who are incarcerated hope - and a reason to turn their lives around. The bills recognize that young people have a tremendous capacity to change and transform into contributing members of society.
Because of my second chance, I've had the honor of working with so many amazing people to continue pushing criminal justice reform. We are collecting signatures on a new petition asking Governor Jerry Brown to sign all of these bills into law.
Now is the time to raise our voice in support of second chances!