Santa Cruz County

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Rina Palta

A note to readers and listeners: only the first names of children are used in this story.

Christian is 15 years old. And like many teenagers, he’s made some mistakes. “Kinda stupid stuff,” he says. “Like vandalism. Not necessarily graffiti or anything. But yeah. Vandalism.”

And he got caught.

“It’s funny, one little incident can change everybody’s opinion of you,” Christian says. “Like, everybody. At school, like the teachers, from the students, to your family and stuff. But I try not to look at it as a negative or anything.”