Battling Through Childhood: Interview with James Anderson at 2013 Models for Change Conference

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“My name is James Anderson and I’m 21-years-old, I spent about 5 years going in and out of the juvenile justice system in California. Growing up I had a really, really rough childhood, I grew up in a dysfunctional family and everyday coming home it seemed like it was a new battle …” 

JJIE spoke with James Anderson Dec. 16, 2013 at the eighth annual Models for Change National Working Conference in Washington hosted by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Anderson is a program assistant at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition.

“The one thing that changed me is one person showed me – this horrible gang member, locked away from society who everyone pointed at and said he was never going to change but did – was one person showed me love, an emotion that had been eluded from my life for so long. That emotion of love was so powerful because it brought happiness into my heart and it changed everything … I realized I wanted to dedicate my heart and soul to changing the world.”

Watch the complete interview below:

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