If you don't believe that's true, look no further than this PBS Newshour program, which features Berkeley High graduate Victor Rios (class of 1994). The last time he was featured on a PBS production, it was a video captured of him in a fight at school in the Frontline documentary School Colors.
Although he grew up in dire poverty and joined a gang, he managed to turn his life around and graduate from high school. He went on to college, eventually earning his PhD from Cal. He is now a professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara. He says it took the confidence of one teacher - Flora Russ - to help him find a path to academic success.
Watch the program - you'll be glad you did! Gang Member Turned PhD Mentors Youth on the Fringes