Leader in programs for at-risk youth to speak at Spring Hill College Feb. 13

Fri, 02/23/2007 (All day)

Feb 13, 2007

(Mobile, AL) -- Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., founder of a nationally acclaimed program and center for at-risk and gang-involved youth, will speak at Spring Hill College, Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. in Byrne Hall on campus. His presentation is titled, "Creating a Community of Kinship Such that God would Recognize It."

Boyle is founder and executive director of Jobs For A Future / Homeboy Industries, an employment referral center and economic development program in Los Angeles, CA. Begun in 1988, Jobs For A Future assists 1,000 people a month in re-directing their lives.

Located in Boyle Heights, a community with arguably the highest concentration of gang activity in Los Angeles, Jobs For A Future provides employment opportunities, counseling, and many other services (including free tattoo removal). By seeking to address the root causes of gang violence, Jobs For A Future creates opportunities so that at-risk youth can plan their futures and not their funerals. “Nothing stops a bullet like a job” is the guiding principle.

In 1992, as a response to the civil unrest in Los Angeles, Father Boyle formed Homeboy Industries, to create businesses that provide training, work experience, and above all, the opportunity for rival gang members to work side by side. The following economic development enterprises have been created since the first venture, Homeboy Bakery: Homeboy Silkscreen, Homeboy / Homegirl Merchandise, Homeboy Graffiti Removal, Homeboy Maintenance, and Homeboy Landscaping..

Boyle was born in Los Angeles. He received his B.A. in English from Gonzaga University, an M.A. in English from Loyola Marymount University, a Master of Divinity from the Weston School of Theology, and an S.T.M. degree from the Jesuit School of Theology.

Before becoming pastor of Dolores Mission (1986-1992), Boyle taught at Loyola High School and worked with Christian Base Communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He has also served as Chaplain of the Islas Marias Penal colony in Mexico and Folsom Prison and is a member of the California State Commission on Juvenile Justice, Crime and Delinquency Prevention, and serves on the National Youth Gang Center Advisory Board.

Boyle is a nationally renowned speaker at conferences for teachers, social workers and criminal justice workers about the importance of adult attention, guidance and unconditional love in preventing youth from joining gangs.