In 1995, Adam Alonso met a 15-year-old who changed his life. Alonso was working at Casa Central, an afterschool program operating out of a church basement. The teen came looking for a pastor, but there wasn’t one available. As the young man walked away, Alonso felt moved to call out and ask what he needed. From their conversation, Alonso learned that he was a father of a 2-year-old, had a mother addicted to drugs, and a father who had been shot and killed. The boy was considering suicide, he told Alonso, and was looking for guidance.
This chance encounter opened Alonso’s eyes to the reality of Chicago’s youth. It’s a story he often tells when explaining why he works to help young people in need.
Read the full interview with BUILD CEO Adam Alonso here.