Nathan Newman is not only a brain cancer survivor, but also a photographer, college student, and motivational speaker. Nate is a true inspiration and we are very excited to share his story and positive outlook on life.
Father Greg Boyle
Father Greg Boyle is a priest, author of New York Times bestseller: “Tattoos on the Heart”, a California Peace Prize Winner and founder of Homeboy Industries. Located in Los Angeles, California, Homeboy Industries is recognized on a global scale as being the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world which provides former gang members with a second chance in life with educational programs and job opportunities as well as many other services.
1.) Explain a little bit about Homeboy Industries.
2.) What inspired you to start Homeboy Industries?
3.) We noticed that you use the word “kinship” a lot in your work. Can you please define kinship and what it means to you? Also, can you relate kinship to our message of positive peer pressure?
4.) You’ve obviously seen both the negative and positive impacts of peer pressure, can you talk a little bit about both sides?
5.) What advice would you give to someone who has dealt with or is currently dealing with negative peer pressure in their life?
Fr. Boyle's Response
"Homeboy Industries was born in 1988 while I was the pastor of the poorest parish in LA, Dolores Mission. It had 8 gangs at war with each other and since those beginning days I've buried 229 young people killed because of gang violence.
Along with our program, was born the notion of kinship, a resolute standing together against forgetting...that we belong to each other. For an idea has taken root in the world and it is at the root...of all that's wrong with it. And the idea would be this...that there just might be lives out there that matter less than other lives. We stand against that idea and propose kinship in it's stead. Obliterating the illusion that we are separate. No us and them...just us.
Kids don't join gangs because of negative peer pressure. They are not seeking anything when they join a gang...they are fleeing something: despair or complex trauma or mental illness.
Only the souls that can ventilate the world with tenderness have any chance at changing the world. Positive peer pressure is not really pressure...but a tenderness that leads folks to inhabit their own, nobility and goodness...their own truth." - Father Greg Boyle
A retired hooper turned film maker gives his testimony about Positive Peer Pressure, while also dropping some knowledge for us!
Paul Henry Flynn
In the fourth grade, I switched schools - I had a fresh start. I realized that nobody in my class knew who I was - no one knew that I was bad at catching a football, a vital skill for a 4th grade boy, or that I wasn’t great at solving math problems. Instead of being around people who had negative expectations of me, I was now around people who had positive expectations. The difference was immense! That year I quickly became one of the most athletic kids in the class, and one of the best students.
It took a group of open-minded individuals to let me explore who I truly was. It was this positive peer pressure that let me realize that I could do what I put my mind to. Since then I’ve always done my best to do the same thing my friends in elementary did and always give positive peer pressure, to support people in their passions, even when they’re not ‘good’ at them yet.
I write music, play guitar, am a self-taught gymnast, do computer programming, parkour, am an entrepreneur, go backpacking…Till this day I credit my broad range of passions to the realization I had then: people are cut off from learning who they COULD be not only because of their own doubts but because of doubts from others.