The Journey From The Streets to the TedX Stage with Sammy Rangel – 8-15-15
July 9, 2015
For those who begin their lives in impoverished or abusive environments, developing any feelings of self-confidence or self worth can be a challenge. Being surrounded by people who repeatedly taunt you about having dreams and goals can lead to negative self talk, and make believing that you really can become successful in your life a difficult obstacle to overcome. The journey to truly believing your dreams can become a reality can be particularly challenging, but the rewards when those goals are achieved are then even sweeter. This week we speak with someone who began life in the worst of circumstances, but overcame his own self doubt and against all odds achieved a goal he set for himself when he appeared on the TedX stage this Spring.
Sammy Rangel was born into abuse, and 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.
In 2004 Sammy graduated from Gateway Technical College-Racine and from Carthage College with a Bachelors of Social Work Degree with a minor in Psychology, Cum Laude. In 2009 Sammy graduated with a Master of Social Work Degree, Summa Cum Laude, with a mental health focus, from Loyola University-Chicago.
Sammy has also worked at the Racine County Jail as a Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor helping men and women with addictive and criminal lifestyles. 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. He is also the founder of Formers Anonymous, an organization with a mission to help people move beyond their addiction to street life.
Sammy is an in-demand speaker and has spoken about his story to audiences around the world. In May 2015, he appeared on stage at the TedX Conference in Budapest speaking on “The Power of Forgiveness”. Sammy’s presentation is available on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOzJO6HRIuA&feature=youtu.be.
Sammy has been a guest on our show before and we are honored to welcome him back to inspire our listeners.