Photo by Bobbie Gottschalk, Seeds of Peace campJacob Mathis was a classic underachiever and troubled child.

The 15 year old’s grade point average was just 0.77 and by his own accord, he had “extreme anger problems” stemming from his relationship with his stepdad. His emotional turmoil often spilled over into school and affected his conduct in the classroom. After an incident in which he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and making criminal threats, he was sentenced to probation.

Mathis’ life changed for the better after his probation officer recommended he enroll in a summer program called Youth Uprising, which uses restorative justice, a community-focused, therapeutic process that addresses youth violence by helping perpetrators understand the roots of their anger and grasp how they have done others harm.

His grade point average is now up to 3.27 and not only has he not re-offended, but he now envisions going to college.

(READ the story in Oakland Local)

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