Crips Gang Leader to Community Leader
Jerron Jordan used to be a leader in the notorious Crips street gang, and a leader in prison gangs. As a young man, authorities arrested him for armed robbery. He set out to make a name for himself while locked inside high security prisons in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He fought, he stabbed people, and he faced disciplinary proceedings that included a two-year journey in the hole. While in the Special Housing Unit, Jordan transformed his life.
Jerron Jordan tells his remarkable story of redemption
Another prisoner’s question pushed Jerron into deep introspection. As a young black man of 25, with two strikes against him, he began assessing the decisions he had made. Those thoughts led him to conclude that he was on the wrong path, bringing nothing but pain to his family and community. Wanting something better, Jerron chose to change.
He began to educate himself while locked inside that SHU cell, reading every book that he could. When he returned to the prison’s general population, Jerron quit participating in gang activities and started focusing on how he would emerge from prison. He changed the vocabulary he used. He stopped sagging his pants. He chose to associate himself with other people that were rejecting the criminal lifestyle.
Jordan emerged from prison and he began a completely new life as a law-abiding citizen. That approach resulted in the world responding differently to him. Instead of fearing him, others began to invest their time and resources to help Jordan achieve new goals. He associated with community council members, law enforcement, and other community leaders. Jordan persuaded a business owner to mentor him, and he persuaded others to invest in him. With a few hundred dollars he launched his first venture, a vending machine company. With ingenuity and hard work, Jordan grew that business from a single vending machine to a company with more than 100 vending machines.
Wanting to contribute to his community, Jordan sold his vending machine company for a healthy profit and began devoting his time to improving opportunities for young people of color in the Stockton community. He became a force in his community, launching a number of initiatives that made the former gang member a partner of leaders in Stockton. In 2015, Jordan relocated to Los Angeles to become a contributing leader to a larger nonprofit that improves opportunities for people of color. He truly embodies the concept of redemption, and we all can find inspiration in Jordan’s story. I encourage you to listen to his podcast if you want to hear about a young man who moved beyond a troubled past that included gang life and imprisonment to become a contributing citizen.
To read more about Jordan and his inspiring story, please visit the following links:
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