Isaac Munoz is just a few months into the Alive & Free program. He discusses the profound change it’s already made in his life.
What was your life like before Alive & Free?
I worked in club promotion. My life was sleeping in the morning and going out at night, drinking with bad people. I came to the U.S. in 2008 to pursue a modeling career. I was raised in Mexico and Spain. The only friend I had was my cousin. To me, friends didn’t matter. I lived a very lonely life.
Before, I didn’t give a damn. I wasn’t looking forward to a career, and I wasn’t looking forward to school. Now I’m learning stuff for my life— finance, how to judge if people are good or bad for you, how to escape the hood, how to help the community. And I didn’t know I was this smart, to tell you the truth. It makes me think a lot and it triggers a lot of emotions. Now I know how to deal with them.
You said Alive & Free has taught you deal with your emotions in a healthier way. Can you give an example?
The full balloon was quite a lesson, because I learned what triggered my emotional residue. Most of it was my parents. Their being divorced, me leaving home at an early age. I realized that was hurting me. So I called my mom. I told her how I felt. And she agreed with me. She said she was sorry. I didn’t think I was going to get that response.
Did that change your relationship?
Wow! Yes. You can tell. Now sometimes I try to give her advice from what I learn through Alive & Free. She has the same problems we all are dealing with in class. That experience made me very happy. Very happy.
Will you get your GED soon?
Yes, I’ll probably get my GED next month. I’m so excited. I know I can pass it with flying colors.