John was born and raised in Richmond and San Pablo. Not having any brothers or sisters, he turned to the streets at a young age. As a result, he got into drugs, dropped out of Gompers High School, and was frequently in and out of jail until the age of 36. After getting clean and sober, John worked for several years in the Carpenters Union. For the past nine years, he has been an advocate and mentor for those overcoming addiction, as well as a facilitator for recovery based meetings. He is currently a health and human service student at Contra Costa College, and a member of the Correction to College Club helping people make the transition into college easier. His goal is to combine grassroots knowledge and experience with education to reach out and help people who otherwise might be unreachable.