Destiny's Children: A Legacy of War and Gangs

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Jessica’s story, part 2

Jessica fell in love with Danny. They steal a moment to themselves. “I don’t know what I’d do without Danny. He has really supported me.”

At first parole was hard for Jessica. She changed her homegirl look but no one would give her a job when they found out about her past. Her son Carlos refused to accept as his mommy. “I felt no one loved me and for some weeks I went back to drugs,” she says.

Finally she found help from the Los Angeles Conservation Corp. She found a place to continue her studies, get counseling, and get work experience in community-based environmental projects. She was able to find acceptance.

Jessica and Danny have a new daughter Cassandra. Carlos still lives with his grandmother Carmen, but visits. Jessica hopes that one day he will come to live with her and Danny. But meanwhile she says, “Carlos is all my mom has besides me, now that my brothers are gone. We can work it out.”

After watching his grandma Carmen bathe his sister Cassandra, Carlos gives it a try with his puppy.

On Thanksgiving afternoon friends and family relax at Jessica Diaz’s home. Danny advises a young friend against joining a gang.