Growing up in Arizona, I witnessed many people, including my own family members, get victimized by the justice system.
I watched as loved ones were arrested, sent to prison, and even murdered.
I saw how a lack of resources can make working families targets for harassment from law enforcement in ways that keeps them in cyclical and generational poverty.
I knew I wanted to fight back – to go into the legal field to help people like my family, but first I wanted to build a stronger foundation of traditional structure and discipline for myself.
I joined the United States Air Force right out of high school. I was on active duty from 1993 to 2002. I spent time everywhere from South Korea and Canada to Germany, Crete, and Kuwait.
Even while serving in the Air Force, my thoughts remained with the justice system. I graduated from Park University with a degree in Criminal Justice Administration while serving on active duty. Throughout my time on active duty, I was exposed to people of all different cultures and walks of life. I was also fortunate to be exposed to different systems and different ways that “justice” could be administered.
My final duty station was Moody AFB in Valdosta, Georgia. Upon completing my enlistment term and graduating with my Bachelor’s degree, I began to look for law schools. I was blessed to have been accepted to Florida Coastal School of Law and offered a substantial scholarship that helped greatly with the incredible expense of attending law school.