Personal Qualifications
Why do I think I can do this better than others?


I was born and raised in a very poor situation in Louisiana, from the plantation to the slums, to ghettos. I spent my early adulthood full of anger, discriminated against, feeling like an out cast. I was on a path of self-destruction which led me to gangs, drugs, jails and prison. After being shot, stabbed and thrown out of a 7 story building, finally I had enough. I was in a body cast for a year and it took five more to become cast free, all the while learning to walk, talk, and eat again. I decided to leave Louisiana and turn my like around. I came to Santa Cruz, Ca. and went to the Sunflower House Recovery Center. I have been clean and sober since 1985 and feel that I have been an inspiration to many others on this path.

I have found now, on my 16 trips to New Orleans delivering donated items, that I am invited to speak to people just as I have been in California. I get calls from all around the county from multitudes of grateful people I have helped, from Montana, Texas, Louisiana, Oregon, Washington DC, and all over California.

Because I have been there, I know how to talk to people who are “down and out”. My history allows me to go into areas where others may be intimidated. Because of my history, I can talk to people and relate to their circumstances.
I have been able to tell my story and inspire others to help themselves and be open to helping others at the same time. I am asked to speak in Santa Cruz at churches, schools, UCSC, Kiwanis and Lions Clubs, NAACP, Red Cross, jails, prisons, juvenile hall, radio stations, TV stations and residential recovery programs. At the same time, I make myself available on the streets of my community. Parents even call to invite me to come to their homes and speak to their children. I don’t just talk about being drug free, I talk about life, I talk about people helping people as a way to live.

I have found now, on my 13 trips to New Orleans delivering donated items, that I am invited to speak to people just as I have been in California. I have been on TV, radio, in newspapers and speaking at schools. People have found my story inspiring and something they can relate to.

In doing this work, I have found that helping each other is a human quality that rises above culture, education, wealth or poverty. Secondly, in doing this work together, we are educating each other about each other, about our diversity, our acceptance of each other, about our common humanity.

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