Lorenzo J.

University Y Student Center

Growing up in a low-income neighborhood, Lorenzo was surrounded by crime and violence. His childhood inspired him to pursue a degree in criminal justice, and today, Lorenzo is a Junior at the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT). As the first in his family to attend college, he quickly became homesick after moving to Tacoma.

"When the Y came, it made it so much easier for me to make friends and feel less homesick," said Lorenzo. "UWT is like a community college, so no one stays on campus, but the Y is a sense of community."

After college Lorenzo plans to bring positive change to his community, and see more diversity in the criminal justice system. This is a parallel he strongly associates with the Y's values, which is why he spends all his free time at the Y, whether he is playing basketball, helping out staff, participating in intramurals, or studying.

"That's why I like the Y, the diversity," said Lorenzo. "You see all kinds of people from different cultures, we share our backgrounds, our foods, everything. Sometimes you just get tired of eating tamales."