People We See: Meet Fernando Roman

In this feature, Club Founder and Training Officer John Hawkins introduces you to people you see every day, but you might not know who they are. The Club reminds you that we all have names and our stories to tell.

Meet Fernando Roman

Note: This interview includes language of the street that might not be appropriate for all readers.

Date of interview: Dec. 14, 2023

Birthplace: East Los Angeles

Birthday: March 2, 1987

Family: “I have two brothers, Jesse and Joe, and two sisters, Joanna and Jessica.”

Sports: “I played football in high school. I was an MVP quarterback and passed for 8,000 yards.”

What stopped him: “Early in my senior year, drugs took over – weed, pills, Ecstasy,” he said, with “late nights in teen clubs.”

Next: “Fernando said he was soon into “crystal meth, heroin and fentanyl … once you start crystal meth, you can’t stop, and fentanyl took over the heroin addiction.”

After that: “I fathered a child, Janelle, and dropped out of high school.”

Job: “After that, I started working for the BSNF Railroad and Union Pacific as a chassis mechanic, making sure the cars were rolling properly.”

Favorite movie: “The Matrix.”

Favorite TV show: “The Simpsons.”

Favorite food: “Tamales.”

Favorite candy: “Watermelon Jolly Ranchers.”

Injury: Fernando says he was injured while at a farmer’s market; he showed me his leg, which appeared swollen.
“I wish I had a lawyer to help me,”
he said.

Advice for young people: “Stay in school, and stick to books. Don’t experiment with drugs, especially meth.” 

Make a wish: “That I never started smoking meth. And that I had a cell phone.”

The Club gave Fernando $40 for his time.

The interview was conducted by Club Founder John Hawkins on Dec. 14, 2023. The contents described here were transcribed from a video recording.