Choosing to Change the Way the Story Ends – Part 1 – with Sammy Rangel – 8-16-14
August 16, 2014
Every person’s life is a story. Often we feel that upon meeting them, we have an idea of how their story is going to look….we have expectations and assumptions about what will be the outcome of who they are now. But for those whose life story has been filled with tragedy, we can only hope that there is a chance for the ending to be different. Such is the case for our guest, Sammy Rangel, whose life story was filled with an incomprehensible amount of violence and hate, but is on a path to follow a journey that is filled instead with hope and joy and accomplishment. Join us as we hear from Sammy himself about his life journey, and the amazing events that changed the course of his life story.
This is the first of two shows featuring our interview with Sammy.
Sammy Rangel spent most of his early years in mental institutions, foster homes, and detention homes. He embraced violence at the age of 11, joining the Maniac Latin Disciples gang and spending long periods in prison. It wasn’t until a drug abuse program helped him rehabilitate that Sammy began to further his education and start working for a Safe Streets Outreach Program in Wisconsin.Today, he writes articles for Life After Hate and consults with law enforcement on addressing and curtailing gang behavior. Sammy is the author of the autobiography FOURBEARS: The Myths of Forgiveness.
Sammy is an in-demand speaker and has spoken about his story to audiences around the world. In 2004 Sammy graduated with Presidential honors from Gateway Technical College-Racine as the District and College Ambassador representing 450,000 students in Wisconsin. Sammy graduated from Carthage College with a Bachelors of Social Work Degree with a minor in Psychology, Cum Laude, in 2008. On September 13, 2009 Sammy graduated with a Master of Social Work Degree, Summa Cum Laude, with a mental health focus, from Loyola University-Chicago. He was also awarded An Excellence In Service Award by the school at graduation.
Sammy also worked at the Racine County Jail from 2004 through 2008 as a Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor helping men and women with addictive and criminal lifestyles. In addition to his work with youth he also provides mental health treatment as Racine Psychological Services with patient who are chronically mentally ill and/or dual diagnosed. Sammy is an adjunct teacher for MATC, Gateway Technical College, and for the Department of Transportation. Sammy contributes to the community by sitting on various committees that address race, homelessness, crime, gang activity or drug abuse issues among our youth and adults.
Sammy considers his most crucial role in the community as raising a family of four girls.