SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Walking down the intersection of Euclid and Imperial in Southeast San Diego, Mathew Gordon is reflecting on his upbringing.
“[I'm] born and raised a native of Southeast San Diego where it’s historically black. [I’m] coming from a single-parent household. I come from all types of experiences such as chronic homelessness," said Gordon.
The intersection also holds a lot of meaning to the Blue Heart Foundation that’s located on the street.
It’s the foundation he is now leading.
“Around the ’70s, ’80s, '90s [and] the early 2000s, the four corners was known as a hotbed of crime. It was gang violence. It was gun violence and it was folks being killed on all four corners.”
Gordon took over the foundation after the founder Tracy Morris passed away in February.
He said Morris’ idea was to change the narrative of Southeast San Diego and let young black and brown men know they have options.
The foundation focuses on mentorship through academics, emotional health and character development.
“I know how hard it is to receive resources and most importantly that mentorship. So that change in leadership, I was close with Tracy Morris and I’d like to say I am my brother’s keeper to continue on his legacy," said Gordon.
The foundation’s already helped many get to college.
“We have a 100 percent college acceptance rate and we also support the students once they matriculated through the K-12 school system because the work we do ultimately is to eradicate the school to prison pipeline here in Southeast San Diego,” said Staci Dent, The Blue Heart Foundation.
Gyasi Nettles is the student class president of the Blue Heart Foundation and is getting ready to attend Northridge.
“I feel like I can interact with people a lot better. I feel like I can socialize with people a lot better,” said Nettles.
Nettles said he is inspired by the new leader and is privileged to be part of the program.
The program hopes to continue its mission
The foundation takes donations and is accepting young men between the ages of 13-18.