Since the age of 12, Javier Chavez's life in Los Angeles has been filled with gangs, guns and drugs. But after years of close encounters with death, and serving time in prison, he decided to turn his life around.

Today, Javier helps others cope with the challenges of life outside gangs and prison. He's a counsellor at Homeboy Industries, an organisation that helps over 10,000 former gang members from across Los Angeles each year. 

But as he counsels former gang members, Javier is constantly wrestling with his own demons - his dark past which won't let him go.

Javier Chavez helps former gang members cope with challenges of their life outside of gangs and prisons [Kate Kelley/Devlo Media]

Source: Al Jazeera