Logo for: Connecticut Opportunity Project


Youth Leader | COMPASS

Leo used to not take anything seriously, but his perspective started to shift as he went through the process of getting a job with the support of his COMPASS Peacebuilder Diego, who Leo realized could relate to a lot in his life.

"Diego is my man. We have a really good connection because he comes from a similar background as me. Peacebuilders really changed my perspective on how I want to live my life. I asked him if he could help me get a job, and he actually brought papers to me and he said Leo, you're going to do this. I learned how to make a cover sheet [at COMPASS], with Diego. "

Leo now has a job with the Center for Latino Progress in Hartford, where he works in the bike shop, helping to assemble bikes and run their Bicycles for Jobs Access program, where Hartford residents can rent bikes if they are in need of transportation to get to work.  He has also started taking online classes for small business entrepreneurship.  Leo's goal is to one day own his own retail business for clothing and sneakers, and hopes to create his own fashion line in the future.

Leo's advice to other young people is: "Just be yourself.  Go chase any dream that you want, and don't be afraid to put yourself out there.  Don't be afraid to ask questions.  Just stay humble and keep going.  Keep yourself striving."