A once troubled Orange County teen who turned his life around thanks to the Boys Republic is setting his sights on medical school after graduating high school.
Paris Davis was given a court order to attend the treatment community after being caught in possession of a gun, and the mentorship he received helped him get his life back on track.
He graduated Santa Ana High School Wednesday night after achieving a 4.0 GPA, and now wants to work in healthcare while at the same time providing the sort of mentorship to other troubled youths that helped him get his life back on track
"I see myself as an eagle and I want to soar with other eagles," Davis said. "I don't want to be put down with the pigeons."
The promising young student said he would not be heading to bigger things without the help of his teachers. He will be studying further at Orange Coast College after winning a place on the basketball team, though ultimately he wants to go into nursing.
"It's all about my hard work and all my coaches who helped me and pushed me through," Davis said.
But even more crucial was the mentoring he received from Joseph Fordjour, who was himself a troubled youngster who benefitted from attending the Boys Republic .
"He started showing me interviewing skills, a nice firm handshake when you meet someone, eye contact body language, show that you're engaged in the conversation, He taught me a lot," Davis said.
Fordjour, who is now a senior at Cal State Fullerton setting his sights on law school, said it was his young charge's determination that allowed him to benefit from the program.
"He was thriving with enthusiasm... he wanted it. He was just asking me a lot of questions about what you can do and how you can do it," Fordjour, whose own criminal record has now been expunged, said.