College was not originally in the plan for Bruce Gomez. As a third child growing up in a single-parent household in El Paso, his mother’s income was limited, so after high school, he found employment in fast food and retail enterprises.
While spending several years in retail and fast-food jobs, he noticed a large percentage of youth from his community were being caught up in the juvenile justice system.
“I saw juveniles getting stuck in the system," Gomez said. "Their parents didn’t know how to help them, and so these infractions would remain on their record and prevent them from getting jobs and moving on with their lives."
By his 20s, and with a growing interest in the law, Bruce earned a paralegal certificate and found an entry-level job at an El Paso law firm. Seeing his potential, the firm’s owner encouraged Bruce to go back to school and earn his law license.
Despite the years of hard work that followed, Bruce Gomez graduated this fall with that law degree and a plane ticket back to El Paso. He plans to return to his home community to take the Texas bar exam and do whatever he can to help young people like he once was escape the cycle of poverty, stay out of legal trouble, and realize a future that is worthy of their talents and intellect.
Listen to his story here.