When he lost his dad at the age of 13, Michael Rodriguez looked for ways to fill the void.

He turned to the neighborhood gang for support, and he had already begun experimenting with drugs a short time after. He was selling drugs just to get by.

“Once my dad died when I was 13, I wanted that love,” said Rodriguez, 25, of Stanton. “They all showed me love. I felt loved after my dad died, and I started hanging around with the wrong people, started using drugs, tried heroin after he died.

“I tried it a few times. I wasn’t addicted to it, but I liked the feeling. It kept me away from reality … about losing my dad.”

One thing led to another. By 14, Rodriguez was intermittently homeless. By 17, Rodriguez found a drug he had promised his dad he would never do in methamphetamine.

“I just

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With a baby on the way, Desi Perkins is also giving birth to something else: a brand. 

The YouTube star, who has amassed more than 3 million subscribers to her 7-year-old beauty channel, took fans by storm when she launched her own brand, DEZI, in July. The brand’s introduction to fans centered on a wide-ranging line of sunglasses, but as the mom-to-be explained to E!’s Lilliana Vazquez during an exclusive interview in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month—popularly known as Latinx Heritage Month—this is just the beginning. 

“It is an ‘everything under the sun’ brand is what I always tell Steven [Perkins],” she told Lilliana, referencing her longtime husband. “It’s just my dreams in one. When I was growing up, my mom always told me, ‘Mija, you know, you really gotta focus on one thing that you really love and get really good at that one thing and that

Read More

With a baby on the way, Desi Perkins is also giving birth to something else: a brand. 

The YouTube star, who has amassed more than 3 million subscribers to her 7-year-old beauty channel, took fans by storm when she launched her own brand, DEZI, in July. The brand’s introduction to fans centered on a wide-ranging line of sunglasses, but as the mom-to-be explained to E!’s Lilliana Vazquez during an exclusive interview in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month—popularly known as Latinx Heritage Month—this is just the beginning. 

“It is an ‘everything under the sun’ brand is what I always tell Steven [Perkins],” she told Lilliana, referencing her longtime husband. “It’s just my dreams in one. When I was growing up, my mom always told me, ‘Mija, you know, you really gotta focus on one thing that you really love and get really good at that one thing and that

Read More