After growing up in Los Angeles and spending much of his life under the control of various elements of the public social services system including foster care, juvenile justice and 13 years in the adult incarceration, Anthony Hunter is looking forward to his first opportunity to participate in positive activities that will enable him to help make a diference in the part of South Los Angeles where he and his seven siblings grew up—Exposition and Western Avenue.

Hunter’s involvement in the voter education programs operated by the Community Coalition (CoCo) just concluded with the 2016 presidential elections.

As the oldest of eight, Hunter knows that making a change in the lives of his younger siblings requires leading by example rather than preaching to get them to move away from “the lifestyle.”

Hunter sees his involvement in Community Coalition and Homeboy Industries as the least he could do while he was waiting for his parole to expire.

Justine Johnson is another activist who turned her life around after abusing drugs and alcohol, and learned from the Commnity Coalition voter education drive how to begin to make a difference in her life by focusing on what she is passionate about.

Johnson’s passion has provided her with a platform to use her counseling degrees and training to establish women’s groups to help participants learn to change their negative thinking.

Hunter and Johnson are among the activists who joined the Community Coalition’s Election Night watch party Tuesday and had the opportunity to see exactly how their voter education work fit into the bigger picture.

As CoCo looks at a world where Donald Trump serves as president, the organization’s CEO Alberto Retana offers these words to his members and staff:

“The power that South Los Angeles residents displayed in this election is a ray of hope, in a moment where our nation is at a critical crossroads. But, as we have done throughout history, our people will continue to be a moral compass for the nation. Through community organizing Community Coalition serves as a vehicle to galvanize people during this time into efforts that defend our victories from the past eight years.”