California State University, Dominguez HillsEdison International Scholar
At the age of twenty-one, John Fitzgerald Bagnerise went to prison with a life sentence and spent the next twenty-two years incarcerated for a crime he did not commit. He had to convince a parole board that he was suitable to be part of society and that he could readjust to a world that had become foreign to him.
After his release, John went on to earn a bachelor's degree with honors in sociology from California State University, Dominguez Hills. He became a certified drug counselor with the California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators. Since 2008, he has volunteered and worked as a counselor at alcohol and substance abuse treatment facilities in Los Angeles.
Today, he is working toward a master's in sociology at California State University, Dominguez Hills. His ultimate goal is to one day own a wellness center that meets the needs of individuals suffering from addiction.