“One Houston, One Hood” Program Delivers Impactful Anti-Gang Message (Video Interview)


David Fanucchi

Gerry Monroe of "One Houston, One Hood" delivers a powerful anti-gang message at Wisdom HS - Friday, Jan. 13, 2017

David Fanucchi, Journalism Adviser

Students at Wisdom High School showed up on Friday, January 13 for a regular day of classes. What they did not expect was to hear a speech from a former prisoner about life behind bars, and a powerful anti-gang message from the “One Houston, One Hood” program.

Principal Jonathan Trinh gathered students into a packed auditorium to have them listen to a former gangster familiar with a life of street violence named Gerry Monroe. The diminutive Monroe held a captive audience of teenagers silent as they listed to his advice about life, what to focus on in school, and what NOT to focus on outside of the classroom.
“Life is about choices and mistakes, and these students need to understand the difference,” said Monroe. “A mistake is something you do by accident, not knowing what might happen. A choice is something you do consciously, knowing full well what you are getting yourself into. These kids need to make the right CHOICES, and stop making bad ones.”
Monroe was joined by female rap artist Cl’Che’, who sang a few songs and talked about the pitfalls of listening to the lyrics of violent rap music, and thinking that would be a good way to act. She was joined on stage by Wisdom senior Jesus Cruz – who tried a rap of his own – before Cl’Che’ ended with a message of hope.

David Fanucchi
Rapper Cl’Che’

One of the most powerful moments of the presentation was former prisoner Carlos Robles’ testimony about life behind bars. The former top hit man for the Mexican Mafia told the real truth about how prisoners need to act in order to just stay alive, as an attempt to scare students straight into being afraid of going to jail. “His message was very direct, and spoke volumes about what some of these students could face, if they are hanging out with the wrong people or involving themselves in bad behavior,” said Trinh.

David Fanucchi
Carlos Robles is a former prisoner who spoke about life behind bars

Finally, the presentation was capped off by a message of positivity and confidence from Dr. Robert Muhammad – an Islamic Student Minister – who wanted the students to believe in themselves and know that they are the future of the human race, and the greatest generation we have ever created.