27 Apr

Angel Sanchez
Picture graciously lent by: Gillian at  West  Orlando News


My grandmother and probably yours too, always said,  ” when life gives you lemons,  you make lemonade.”

Well Angel Sanchez took this advice to heart and did exactly that.

He could have ended up so differently,  after the rough hand that he was dealt in his short life, but instead he decided to take another road.

Not only did Angel choose not to continue on the dark way that he was headed, but he turned it around 360 degrees and came out at the top.

Angel’s life began in Miami with gangs, crime and drugs and a mom fighting her own drug demons.

He finally ran away at 13.

Angel ended up in prison at the tender age of 16, but  instead of doing what so many others do, he made a decision that would ultimately change his future and his  life.

Following his father’s good advice to ” get an education,  ”  Angel fought back, but on his own terms.

During his twelve years in prison, Angel not only got his GED, but a paralegal certificate as well.

Then he took the next step and applied to various colleges.

One school answered by saying,    ” Come see us when you get out. “

This was the motivation that he needed to keep him firmly on the way to achieving his dream.

Not only is Angel graduating from Valencia College on May 3, with 1,000 other fellow students, he has a 4.0 grade average and will be the Commencement Speaker at the ceremony.

With his  $30,000 a year scholarship in hand, Angel now wants to go on and become an immigration lawyer, so that he can help others who are facing the same  kind of difficult challenges that he did.

This young man who lost his father while still in prison,  wants to help others by showing them that being homeless, does not have to be a life sentence, that  you can fight for what you want to become and win.

What Angel has done with his life,  is not only remarkable,  it is truly inspiring.

And now at 31,  with his goals lying just ahead, his life  back on track, and grasped firmly in his own hands, Angel can show others who started out as badly as he did, how they can change their futures as well.


Places to learn more: 

Graduate Angel Sanchez to Share Remarkable Comeback Story at Valencia’s Commencement

Former inmate now Valencia College’s distinguished graduate

Felon goes from prison to Valencia honor student

Valencia Foundation





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4 responses to “Angel

  1. carolahand

    April 27, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Thank you for sharing a hero’s story of hope, Tahtonka, and for honoring Angel’s hard work and inspiring example.

    • Gator Woman

      April 27, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      As I watched it on our news this morning I was taking notes.
      Knew it had to be here.
      He is awesome!

  2. kyangel17

    April 27, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    A wonderful story about a very deserving person. I feel so lucky to have read this inspiring story and so hopeful that more young men and women in the world will also see that they can win and get out of the old habits and build new lives for themselves. Thank you for posting this Tahtonka.

    • Gator Woman

      April 28, 2014 at 6:31 AM

      He is an example for those who feel hopeless. Life truly is what you make of it.


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