Passionate. Courageous. Responsible.
Raymond Aguilar was born and raised in Stockton, CA, and has been system impacted since the age of 6. He constantly found himself being in and out of juvenile facilities, shelter homes, foster care, and the California Youth Authorities until he was tried as an adult at the age of 16 and served 26 years in prison. Using his time of incarceration with purpose, Raymond taught himself how to read and write since at that time he had a 5th-grade reading comprehension level. Once he realized the value of his education, Raymond received his high school diploma and attended Lassen Community College while in prison. In 2016, once released from prison, I began volunteering at Fathers & Families of San Joaquin. Quickly, I began working as a Youth Mentor and Movement Builder to mentor other system-impacted youth and become an advocate for ending youth being trialed as an adult. Within the past 2 years of my release, I found my voice as a spokesperson for Prop 57 and a representative of the youth through my speeches and presentations about the treatment of our youth to other youth, probation officers, and other system leaders in high schools, juvenile halls, probation school settings. More importantly, I found my place as a weekly facilitator for Joven Noble, which is a group of 15-20 youth, and supervise and mentor other system-impacted youth. Raymond feels that it is his purpose to become the difference in helping to reduce the racial disparities that continue to go on in my community, because of the fact that many of our youth that is system impacted are primarily people of color and come from low-income families. He continues to seek and fight for change in order to continue to set an example for his youth, as well as his family and his first son.