Dear Maria Reyes,
Well first of all I want to say thank you for taking some time off and coming to talk to all of us. Once again thank you for coming….
By the way my name is [Juan] , and I’m 17 years old, I’m from CALIFORNIA, SANTA ANA. I guess we have something in common don’t you think? We are both from the same state. Anyways, Maria I want to tell you somethings about my personal life, because I think that I’m living the same life that you lived a couple of years ago. My life at this point is kind of hard and pretty much I been struggling with it. I know life is a risk but some times it gets too risky, don’t you think? Well I been in my gang for five years, I was jumped in since I was eleven years old, since that point on I been in juvenile hall four times with this one…I been doing things that affect me and my family, and only because of the homeboys. Maria I been trying to get away from the gang, and from the homeboys and most of all from those temptations that get me in to a lot of trouble, but I can’t, and you should have and idea of how life is for gang members, don’t you? Once your in, there is only one way out, one is either death or do life in prison, but that is what the homeboys say when you get jumped in, I still remember those words. But I have a big feeling that there is another way out, but is to hard for me to realize what way is it going to be. I gotta admit that you were a tough girl to do what you did, knowing what could happen to you, and hey you did the rite thing... the day that you came to talk to all of us, you open up my eyes with those words that you said to us, your words got me thinking a lot and they made me realize the truth… I know that we are not different from each other, we are the same, except with one exception I’m a vato and you’re a woman, and if you changed your life around, that means that I can do it too, by doing the same thing that you did, and that’s by doing the ‘’Right Thing’’.
By the way Maria as I’m writing you this letter the class and I are watching the ‘’Freedom Writers Movie’’ and to be honest I love the movie a lot... it shows a lot of racism and how young people like us can change everything around if we work together.. I like the book too, but the first time I read it, it got me confused, but after I saw the movie, I understood everything that happen in the book... Well Maria this is all I want to say to you, and it was an honor to meet you, on the real I got happy to know that you were coming to talk to us, once again ‘’THANK YOU’’ and it was a pleasure to meet you… take care and keep your head up…
P.S… with love & respect, hopefully you write back:)