Woman Shot in Gang Violence Shares Her Story

News Staff

Coachella, CA

A local woman is sharing her powerful story to discourage kids from joining gangs.

When she was a teenager, a gang shooting left her in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
Now she’s turned her story into a message for young people.

"It’s not easy being in a wheelchair, but those are the consequences to my actions."
Jeanette Jaime is telling her story at Valle Del Sol Elementary in Coachella.

Nearly 30 years ago in Long Beach, she was shot at 17-years-old with her 11-month old baby in her arms.
"Homeboys decided to use as their initiation tool was to go out and find some rival gang members and do a drive by shooting."

Her daughter was okay, but the bullet hit Jeanette’s spinal cord.
"They told me the damages that the bullet, and that I’d be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life…learning how to take care of myself in a wheelchair, plus change some diapers and get a bottle in the middle of the night."

Jeanette says though her father worked for NASA and encouraged his children towards school and not gangs, she followed in her brother’s footsteps.
"I was gang active at the time, because my brothers, my family members were already from a gang, so growing up in it, it was just a tradition."

Of Jeanette’s five brothers three were killed, and the other two are in prison with life sentences.
"Being in a gang, at the end of it, you either end up in prison, six feet down, or in a wheelchair for the rest of your life."

That’s why Jeanette finds it her calling working with the Coachella Valley Boys and Girls Club in Desert Hot Springs, and speaking for the district attorney’s gang awareness program called "GAME."
"God spared my life for a reason, and if this is the reason, then so be it!" said Jeanette.

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