Ulises Gutierrez was class speaker during his secondary school graduation in 2004, from the Monrovia Adult School. He told his audience (classmates, the Superintendent, his Principal and members of the School Board) of his background as a gang member, a drug addict and a high school dropout. He spoke of an overdose and rehabilitation and the long, difficult on and off process of earning his high school degree. He concluded by declaring that he would devote the rest of his life to helping other young people with similar problems. While few in his audience may
have believed his last statement, Ulises had, indeed, given his listeners a preview of his life. Almost from the time he graduated, Ulises has worked for the Santa Anita YMCA, 31 A ChangeMaker Ulises teaches young people that they have choices to make - good choices - and opportunities for a better life for themselves and their families. working primarily with Latino children at risk of destructive behavior. He and the staff of Monrovia Youth Alliance work to build one-on-one relationships with these youngsters and to strengthen the support of their parents. Ulises expanded this work through the ‘Jesus is Lord Christian Center’ and contributed to the success of City and School District programs -- including working with youngsters in Library Park at the Friday Night Family Festivals. He advised and assisted the PasadenaArea League of Women Voters Dropout Study Committee, serves on the Board of Directors of Foothill Unity Center and Social Model Recovery Systems, promoted the Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Monrovia and has devoted much time to suicide-awareness programs through the group ‘Monrovia Healing Connections’ and immigration. Ulises’ work as a change maker for troubled youth continues as he seeks to help and support young men and women in finding jobs and by enabling and encouraging them to become productive members of society. Ulises Gutierrez has devoted his adult life to the community and schools of Monrovia and to increasing opportunities for the young people and families who need special attention. Thanks to his efforts, today’s young Hispanics will play a stronger and more positive role in the future of their community.