Today, activist Roy Juarez Jr. spoke during fifth and sixth period in both the Rose Auditorium and the Little Theatre as a part of his ROYit [Rescue Our Youth Impact Tour]. Juarez is reaching out to teens in high schools all across the country to spread his message of pursuing one’s dream, despite all circumstances. Currently homeless for the third time in his life, Juarez is speaking in front of high school audiences from coast to coast.
Homeless at 15, Juarez was no stranger to overcoming obstacles. After finding homes for his siblings (none of which would take him in), Juarez lived on the streets of Texas struggling to find food and places to sleep. He carried around a small bag of clothes, which he actually brought to his presentation at South. Left to fend for himself by his parents, Juarez was passed between several homes, living under the roofs of people he barely knew that did not really care about him. Eventually, he developed a resentment for his situation. However, overcoming this resentment became key to the start of his tour.
“In life we have control over how we react toward our situations,” Juarez said. “We either get bitter, or get better.”
Juarez’s desire to “get better” allowed him to seek out a home with a local church pastor he knew. She housed both him and his brother, allowing Juarez to graduate from high school, enroll in community college, and eventually begin speaking at high schools around the United States about how his experiences with homelessness shaped him into the person he is today. Today, he continues his journey of reaching out to teens in the hopes that they too, will be able to achieve their dreams and “get better.”
“Never give your dreams to anyone or anything; they are your own,” Juarez said.
To support his movement, Juarez is encouraging students to take on the “Inspiring Change Selfie Challenge”. To participate, one must only post a selfie on social media and caption it “#ROYit” and “#spreadchange”. Juarez can also be found on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and YouTube.