Jesse De La Cruz was expelled from high school during his sophomore year for participating in a riot and for the next thirty years lived contrary to the current of life and got involved in gangs, substance abuse, and crime.

In 1997, Mr. De La Cruz enrolled in college and began his educational journey graduating with a Baccalaureate Degree in Sociology in 2001 and a Masters of Social Work Degree from California State University, Stanislaus in 2003. In July 2014 he obtained his Ed.D. after completing his dissertation which is titled: Mexican American/Chicano Gang Members’ Voice on Social Control in the Context of School and Community: A Critical Ethnographic Study in Stockton, California.