Ricky knew the need for rescuing. His mother was a cocaine addict; his older brothers in jail. He lived on the streets, taking shelter when possible in a shack without running water or electricity. At 16 he dropped out of school.
He continued in his brothers’ footsteps, selling drugs on the corners of the roughest parts of West Palm Beach. But the soft-spoken and gentle young man sensed there was more to life.
Ricky first learned of Urban Youth Impact when he attended a basketball camp put on by the organization. Little by little, Ricky got more involved with Urban Youth Impact, ultimately applying to its Summer Work Program to get job training and his first employment experience. Demonstrating his faithfulness over the summer, Urban Youth Impact hired Ricky on staff where he has had the opportunity to mentor children who come from his neighborhood and too often have similar stories.
With Urban Youth Impact’s help, Ricky is pursuing his dream career to be a fireman. This past January, Ricky graduated from the EMT program at Palm Beach State College and is in the process of applying to fire academy. Of firemen, Ricky says, “When I think of firemen – they model what a man is to me. They put their life on the line for other people. That’s what I want to do.”