I first met Chad Brown in 2021. When he spoke to me about Soul River and its mission to connect inner-city youth and veterans with the purpose of bringing healing to all parties through connection to nature, I knew I had to get involved.
This mission is dear to my heart for many reasons. I’m not only a 100% disabled Marine Corps Veteran but I’m a survivor of gang violence. And, as a member of the Taino people connection to land and nature are important to me.
My involvement with Soul River has lifted this connection and awareness to the next level.
There is so much beauty in seeing the youth come alive with aw as members of the tribal community honor us by sharing their rich history and culture, or listening to which part of the experience stirred the hearts of the youth and Veterans.
From fly fishing on warm Springs reservations to corralling a horse in Monument Valley with members of the Navajo Nation, to standing quietly with eyes filled with wonder at the beauty all around us, my spirit, heart, and mind have been blessed and honored by these experiences. As a former member of the Latin kings and a Veteran with PTSD, I believe Soul River Needs to be in every state and city, so we can bring the healing power of nature to both inner-city youth, and veterans sooner and with a broader reach. My time with Soul River has shown me that nature has healing power that goes far beyond anything I learned at University.