2016 ANNUAL REPORT  |  9 8  |  HANNA BOYS CENTER HANNA ALUMNUS DEMARIO If I were a superhero, I’d be the Flash. Running has always been a way to challenge myself and test my limits. When I was at Hanna, I went to school at Sonoma High and was a sprinter on the track team. What most people don’t know is that I broke a 69-year school record for the 100-meter dash that still stands today: 10.68 seconds. Hanna Boys who went to Sonoma High back then really stood out. We had a dress code at Hanna so we looked different. We got dropped off at school in these special white vans, so everyone knew we were the so-called bad boys from Hanna. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I was one of only two African American students in the whole school. Talk about pressure. Hanna gave me clear rules and consequences, and the support and structure I never got at home. It was a place I could develop positive habits. I still got in trouble, trust me, but at least I knew what would happen when I did. It was all out on the table. I’m the oldest of seven adopted kids, so being at Hanna allowed me to learn to be responsible for myself and take control of my own path. One of the things I valued most about Hanna was the variety. I created things in wood shop and the art room, and I even learned tennis skills from a professional Brazilian tennis player. The variety helped me find balance in my head and my life. It’s where I learned my first cooking skills: I remember having to pick a menu for the week, shop for groceries on a budget, and then having to cook for my whole house. It was rough leaving Hanna. I made mistakes, and it was hard to recover from them. It felt like I was leaving so much structure and support. But I realized Hanna had taught me a lot. I’m strong. I’m a good person. Life is not always fair. And you move forward. I’m on the right path now and I have the motivation to continue to set myself up for success. I’m excited about my life. I have an amazing girlfriend. I’m a proud uncle to twin boys who love when I plan a “family fun day.” I’ve used my creativity and entrepreneurial skills to build my own business as a barber. I look forward to hopefully mentoring and sharing my expertise with the Hanna boys. I’m even working on reopening an on-campus barbershop that’s been closed for years. Coming to Hanna Boys Center was one of the most positive influences in my life. I’m ready to give back and help the kids here facing challenges similar to what I had to deal with. It’s places like Hanna that can cultivate our next generation’s leaders. “Hanna gave me clear rules and consequences, and the support and structure I never got at home.”