- The Orange County RegisterContent leader of social, 2011 - present
I grew up with gangs, latchkeys and concealed weapons in Long Beach, California, where I flipped through the morning paper, and searched in vain for news about my community and its many challenges. I didn't trust "the media."
My childhood was consumed with school, hanging around the neighborhood with friends and playing video games. Eventually, I decided to make video games for a living, I spent 3 years studying software engineering at UC Irvine after after I graduated from Long Beach Poly. My university learning ended in April of 1992, when the L.A. riots helped me realize that other things were more important to me than computational algorithms and "O" notation.
I left school and my part-time job selling music and movies (on physical media like records, VHS tapes, etc.) transformed into a surprisingly fulfilling 10-year mini-career of customer service and retail management.
My nights were spent recouping in Leimert Park, where I found friends who loved jazz and/or hip hop. Those peers and our community elders (Richard Fulton, Billy Higgins, Juno Lewis and Horace Tapscott) influenced my life greatly. It was also at the Leimert Park village where I found kindred souls who shared my concern about "the media." Many members of that art-centric community were more upset than me about the lack of coverage of problems in our neighborhoods.
Back at the 9 to 5, I had to deal with other problems. The internet bubble burst ad web business dried up. The web "team" was laid off and I had a toddler and another baby on the way. I had to find another source of income in a hurry.
I took a night job shoveling code for a newspaper, as I wondered if I would finally find out why the media didn't tell stories from my 'hood — or at least didn't tell them the way I understood them.
Now, I live in Orange County and work at The Orange County Register, a news and information company born out of the proud tradition of journalism.
- University of California, IrvineSoftware engineering, 1989 - 1992