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Sona Riel

Community pride

    Sona believed in his community.  He also believed that serving it through a gang was a good idea; An idea that took him down the wrong track.
     Running with a gang in southeast Fresno, Sona never did hard time. He was caught up in the gang culture, so consequently and repeatedly he did time in the California Youth Authority.  His four brothers and sister are still gang affiliated
     His earliest memories of gang life start at about five.  His parents came to America from Cambodia, and the influence of gangs flourished in the ghetto-like apartment complexes where the refugees found themselves.
     Territorial feuds with rival Hispanic gangs made a strong impression on young Sona, instilling in him a sense of pride. It seemed natural to follow the power to a point of dominance.
     At some point, during his yo-yo existence with jail, Sona realized there was probably a better way than beating up people.  His point of view changed. The fruitlessness of the returning to jail weighed on his soul.

Sona Riel

      He realized that in custody you have to get used to the institutionalization.  Get into the routine for it's that routine that really gets to you. When you are released, you have to learn how to cope outside the walls. 
     During his last stint in jail, he received Christ and started to break the cycle. Hope Now found him work

supported his faith and helped correct a wayward path
     Today, he has a wife and two kids. His life is on track, and he again has pride in his community, but this time using his heart instead of his fists.