“After this incident happened, and they put me on house arrest,” he said, “I just started busting my school work out. My grades started going up and up and up. I don’t hang around the people I was doing that dumb stuff with. I hang around with whole new people who don’t even live on this side of town. So my life, it just turned around.”

“She’s tiny but shes powerful,” she said. “She has so much energy. Now the boys have a huge advocate in their corner with Rikki. She wants to see them succeed as much as we all do.”

One day while on a catering job, Suazo noticed some of the boys’ old friends hanging out on a corner.

Robert Stewart, “Chef Stew” of the Transition Kitchen, provides culinary training and creates catering jobs.

A week later, Spector presented another award to the younger boy, who hugged her, called her “ma’am” and said, “I messed up.”

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