His success story started with books

Dieter CantuDieter Cantu, ’15 graduated with his degree in Public Administration from COPP. His Books to Incarcerated Youth Project has helped thousands of young adults throughout the state of Texas. He wanted to give back to his community and inspire youth through education. Cantu spent time in juvenile detention. He had a hunger for knowledge, but not access to it. Most of the books at the detention centers where he was placed did not provide the practice knowledge he yearned for.  After he finished his time, he went to school and completed his undergraduate studies. While visiting the youth at detention centers and serving as a guest speaker, he came up with the idea for Books to Incarcerated Youth. Thorough various partnerships with universities (one being his alma mater UTSA) and nonprofit organizations, he was able to donate thousands of books to incarcerated teens so that they too can have the chance to change their lives. Cantu moved to Houston and currently works as a program manager for the Harris County Youth Collective. He’s frequently called upon to speak to youth in juvenile detention centers, since he’s walked in their shoes. He mentors young offenders to help them set career goals for themselves and find ways to reach those goals. Read the full story by Alyson Ward in the San Antonio Express-News. The article, published on Nov. 24 shows Cantu on the front page.

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