Juan Cortez

< Back

Juan Cortez
Violence Interrupter (Central Oakland)

jcortez@youthalive.org | (510) 594-2588 x310

IMG_0950_JUAN_web

Juan Cortez says it best himself: “My name is Juan, I’m a father, husband, mentor, and I stand against violence.”

Juan’s a young man, only 28, but his path to Youth ALIVE! has been full of many twist and turns. He grew up in a big family in Oakland’s Fruitvale District. He became acquainted with the juvenile justice system early in life. Later he became acquainted with the county jails. He was shot on three separate occasions. He’s lucky to be alive. After the third shooting, Juan was tired of the street life. But mostly it was love and fatherhood that inspired him to make a change. He spent time as a case manager for young people on probation or parole, then worked to mentor young, at-risk newcomers to America. Now, as a Youth ALIVE! Violence Interrupter he works to mediate conflicts between groups or between individuals. The task is to solve problems and calm things down before the guns come out. The goal is safety and peace.