Julio Alcantar, born and raised in the inner city, vowed to rid his community of violence and fear. Faced with serious obstacles, including a non-lethal shooting, he never veered from his path: to become a lawyer “for people in my community.”
“I realized life in the ‘hood’ is no good for anyone. I will always remember the fear, the bullet lodged in my spinal cord, my cracked rib and punctured lung.”
“A college education is the only way to change my community and stop this self-hate and violence. I cannot picture my own children, or other innocent children in my neighborhood, living through this.”
Julio was admitted to UC San Diego on his way to reach his dream. But the night before the start of his senior year, he was shot and killed by an unknown assailant. He was 23 years old. He had been my student in high school; his death shattered his family, his friends and me.
His parents begged, borrowed and ran corner car washes to pay for his funeral. They spared no expense, since there would be no graduation party or wedding or baby christenings for this son. A mariachi band played Julio home.