When Jorge Galindo arrived in the U.S. in the early 1990s, he was a 17-year-old kid just trying to make a living for his family back home in Mexico.
But when he fell on hard times and was forced out of his uncle's house, Galindo found himself homeless and teetering on the edge of a life of drugs and gangs.
"There were times I was living on the streets," Galindo said.
But even through the hardest of times, Galindo never lost his determination to help kids faced with an uncertain future like he once did.
Galindo eventually met his future wife, and they found stability. And he turned his attention to the mentorship of kids in South Everett.
"I don’t want to see these kids homeless on the streets, begging for money and doing drugs," he said.
Galindo turned to the Everett non-profit Hand in Hand and began building resources to work with troubled teens. Galindo decided to form a soccer team in a league sponsored by Everett Police. Today, it's a way to connect directly with the kids.
"When we started the kids said 'we don’t know how to play.' And I said well 'Hey I don’t know how to coach. So we're in the same boat!'" Galindo laughed.
His goal is not to win games, but to build a family. And his approach is translating into wins.
"Other coaches say 'how did you guys beat us? We have more skills then you. We do everything better than you,'" he said. "And then the coaches say 'I wish my kids would play like your kids play, like a family."
Galindo is also meeting with kids in school to serve as a mentor. Success in the classroom means more kids are graduating.
"My goal is to build a family and build a relationship with the kids," he said. "That's my goal."
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