100 Lives: JA Alumnus Chooses Business Over Gang Life


July 22, 2016

100 Lives: JA Alumnus Chooses Business Over Gang Life

Sixteen-year-old Italo Erazo, who lives in the town of Armenia in the Sonsonate department of El Salvador, first participated in an Empresarios Juveniles El Salvador (JA El Salvador) program at ten years old. In addition to gaining financial know-how, learning work skills, and seeing examples of viable career opportunities—including what it takes to run a successful business of his own—Italo saw, for the first time, an alternative to gang life in his community, where he lives with his father and grandparents.

Thanks to his JA experience, Italo wants to create his own company and generate employment for young people in his community. His current plan? To study computer-systems technology, and then open a cyber café. He's determined to cobble together the money to continue his education, start a business, offer additional career options to El Salvadoran youth, and help stop the cycle of violence in his community.

See the rest of the 100 Lives collection.

Photos by the amazing Scott A Woodward.