Roy Juarez, Jr., motivational speaker, has reached a milestone of working with over 100,000 students on the â€śMy Bag, My Home: Homeless By Choiceâ€ť Tour. Juarez spoke to students from Sweetwater ISD a couple years ago as part of the tour.
The Tour began as a dream (literally) to inspire students not to give up on life, their dreams, and understand the value of a higher education. In 2010, Juarez set out on his self-funded tour with a mere $100 and a full tank of gas.
From the southern tip of California to the northern corner of Maine, Juarez has traveled the nation, hitting all 48 continental states, inspiring youth at more than 500 lectures with his personal story of perseverance, hope and forgiveness. Even through personal struggles that include dropping out of high school and being left homeless as a teenager on the streets of San Antonio, Texas, Juarez inspires people from all walks of life.
"I believe being homeless as a teenager prepared me for my current mission: being homeless again. This time, however, itâ€™s by choice, and I have a mission! I hope by sharing my story, young people everywhere will understand the power of forgiveness and the importance of an education,â€ť Juarez said.
At the age of 14, Juarez became a caretaker to his two younger siblings when his parents' divorce caused rippling effects and left Juarez and his baby brother and sisters without parents or a home. After finding guardians for his younger siblings, Juarez packed a duffle bag of personal items that he called his home.
"Royâ€™s presentation touched and influenced so many of our students and their lives. I know for a fact that at least two of our students that were dropouts returned to school and graduated. The schoolâ€™s culture has experienced a positive change following the message of Royâ€™s presentation,â€ť said Eulalio Mendoza, Assistant Principal of Deming High School in Deming, New Mexico.
As a young humanitarian and entrepreneur, Juarez has been able to develop a successful career, lecturing to thousands of youth, educators, and parents throughout the United States and abroad. Once a homeless teenager, Juarez fought the battle to leave the streets only to return to them after becoming a graduate of Hardin-Simmons University. Juarez is currently working on his second national tour; he plans to continue to speak professionally and publish books that speak to the many lessons learned from all his experiences.
For more information about Roy Juarez, Jr. visit www.homelessbychoice.com or facebook.com/royjuarezjr.