Western Kentucky University
$1,500 Scholarship and Hearst Medallion
Picture Story: The 99%: Housing, Healthcare, Community
Single: “Pride and Passion”
Gerardo Gaytan, 18, grapples with his friend Kimani at the Guardian Gym, which offers free membership to children and teenagers in Oakland on June 2, 2019. Growing up in East Oakland with violence right outside his home, Gerardo admits that he still fears the streets and walks around a little as possible.
Junior year of high school he drove past the gym and saw a sign advertising free training and thought it was too good to be true. “Jiu jitsu has given me confidence and shown me more about myself than I did five years ago,” he explains of his new passion for the sport. “It’s helped me realize what I can be.”