Adrian Vasquez is the Intake Specialist and Job Developer at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC). Adrian grew up in South Central Los Angeles in a gang-infested neighborhood. Even though Adrian never joined a street gang himself, many of his friends were gang-involved and because of that, he developed a gang-like mentality. Still, Adrian’s parents wanted to give him a better life, so they enrolled him at a private Catholic school from kindergarten to 12th grade. He graduated from high school and enrolled at Cal State University Long Beach with hopes to complete a double major in Criminal Justice and Business Administration. However, he made one bad choice and ended up in prison with a life sentence at 19 years old.

As a lifer, Adrian struggled while in prison. For the first 10 years of his sentence, he kept a gang-like mentality and was involved in negative behavior. The turning point in Adrian’s life came when he was being housed in administrative segregation. His mother came to see him and told him she had been diagnosed with a malignant tumor. She begged him to change his behavior and get out of administrative segregation so that she could have the chance to hug him again, in case she were to pass away. Adrian began taking college courses and joined multiple self-help groups in prison. He managed to obtain two Associate’s degrees from Coastline Community College, three vocational trades and became a facilitator for the Alternatives to Violence program. Finally, on October 24, 2013, he was granted a parole date from the Board of Prison Terms, after appearing on his fourth hearing. He was released from prison on February 25, 2014.

After his release, Adrian participated and graduated from the Friends Outside and Sheilds for Families job training programs and obtained a Class A truck driving license. He currently works part-time at the Nokia Theatre in Staples Center. Most significantly to him, he began interning at ARC from August 2014 to January 2014. Due to his dedication, his passion and his hard work, he was employed as a full-time staff member at ARC in February 2015.