Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Pep uses his personal story of overcoming adversity to not only relate with the kids, but also offer perspective on how relationships can be a bridge to triumph. Yul is a certified practitioner in Creating Lasting Family Connections and a certified Trauma Competent Caregiver. He has spent over twenty years working with youth in residential treatment facilities in California and Cincinnati.
Yul grew up in a gang infested neighborhood in Los Angeles and personally experienced many challenging circumstances and traumas. He likens the Found Village teens to a fig tree that must be cultivated, watered, and tended to in order to grow. He remarks that it is a joy to watch them grow as they take in the various services that Found Village has to offer. Pep recalls that in his life, it took more than his parents to keep him straight and out of the streets. It was the advocacy of one primary school nun who took a liking to him which allowed him to attend a good school, stop fighting, and eventually land a scholarship to play college football.
After playing professional football for the New York Jets for two years, Pep decided to fully devote his life’s work to advocating for youth. He brings his current life experience of being the primary caregiver to his young daughter and is extremely effective in engaging the fathers of our youth as he works to strengthen the relationship with their children, mediate family situations and coach parents and youth. His hope is to see all of the Found Village youth take advantage of the resources being offered to them and grow into men and women who are living out their greatest potential.