Apprenticeship Preparation Program

Moises Garcia grew up in McArthur Park, a community that he says is “under-resourced and gang-infested,” where crime and violence were normalized. He thought his life would always be this way. Moises says the kids he grew up around “don’t believe they have options.” But then he found the courage to make a change and came to Pasadena to get help at Flintridge Center. Moises knew he couldn’t break harmful cycles in his life by himself. He was immediately connected to Jeff, a reintegration Case Manager. Moises says Jeff “emphasized how much he cared about me and helped me grow out of the dysfunction I came from.” Jeff helped Moises identify his strengths and figure out that he wanted to pursue higher education, and then walked him through the process of applying for school and accessing educational resources. Though the process of change was tough, Moises stuck with it. Now, Moises is enrolled at Pasadena City College and on his way to a college degree, with the goal of pursuing a career in social work. Growing up, he never thought college was in his future. He explains, “coming from the community I came from, college is not even talked about. It didn’t even exist in our minds as a possibility.” He says he never would have gone to college if it wasn’t for Flintridge Center and his Case Manager Jeff. But, Moises says the biggest change is his mindset. “Flintridge changed my way of thinking and habits. I used to think very negatively. I thought ‘well, this is just how it is.’ But Flintridge told me, there’s more to life than four blocks. You can do a lot more in life if you’re willing to explore. Out here in Pasadena, we make roses come out of concrete.”

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