Updated: May 4
My name is Eduardo Chavarria. All of my life I’ve struggled with my pride. Growing up, our neighborhood was small and we were all separate from everyone else when we went to school. I went to three different schools and kids from my neighborhood were out numbered compared to everyone else. For me, it was a game, fighting and defending our little neighborhood. Time passed by, and at the age of 12 or 13, us kids were introduced to drugs.
With my pride and drugs, I never thought that my life would lead to total destruction. I was now getting high everyday, prideful. I was hanging with the wrong people. Eventually my neighborhood was introduced to gangs. I joined a street gang and now I really thought I was cool.
I started doing even crazier things than I ever thought of doing. Well, all that lead me to prison. I went into prison 4 times, where most of my life was spent. Back in 1992 or 93 I was put into prison for a robbery. I thought I got smarter in there. In 1996 I got out and I didn’t think of anything else but to start selling drugs. And living in the Valley, being so close to the border all I ever saw was drugs. After selling drugs I began to make so much money — well thats what I thought until I went into prison again and again. It wasn’t until the last time I went into prison that I knew I had to change my life but I didn’t know how I was going to do that.
Now, this is the part I really like. I remember in the parole office I met a group of people who were talking about “changing your life around.” It grabbed my attention because I knew I had to change my life. I started going to the classes and started learning and understanding about life. I learned that we can become better men if we choose to change. It was challenging but worth it, I knew what I wanted in my life and they were willing to show me how to be successful.
Because of Choose to Change, it has been a real blessing for me just knowing I’m not going back to prison anymore. They also taught me to go to church and now I’m serving in Choose to Change at the Door Church in McAllen. I really want to thank Choose to Change Foundation for their support and for believing in me. I am also really thankful for meeting Orlando Salinas the founder of Choose to Change Foundation.