High school wasn't a safe, positive place for Jamal. Gangs ran rampant, the campus was overcrowded and, as he describes, "hectic." He lost all motivation to learn when he was 18, and his mother passed away of lung cancer. He dropped out for a time, and then a relative encouraged him to finish school. He enrolled in our Saito High School - South LA in January 2015, which partners with LA Conservation Corps to offer job training. He was able to continue paying his expenses with the stipend he earned for going to school combined with the wage he earned for participating in job training in alternating months. He says of the school, "Everyone gets a second chance to do something good for ourselves." He recently walked the stage as a graduate of the Class of 2016. He is continuing on with the LA Corps - he's currently working on the South Park maintenance crew, but plans to take courses at Los Angeles Trade and Technical College in construction or electrical contracting and has been invited to join the YouthBuild construction training program.