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Times of Tension
The Isaiah Cooley Story
By Joe Mendoza & Omar Reza
E-Book (available as PDF files)
About the Author
Tiimes of Tension is a story about Isaiah Cooley, a young African American teen who because of his gang affiliation has over shadowed his potential on and off the football field. Because of the love of his family and community, he is forced to leave everything he has ever known behind and has been thrown into a very different and new world. In the end, Isaiah perseveres through all of the obstacles that come his way and becomes the great football star that he always dreamed of becoming.
How do things turn for the worst in life? Is it our friends? Did our parents not love or play with us enough? Or do we just fall victim to our surroundings? I ask myself these same questions. Do You? Such is the case in this story of a rising star. Someone whose stock was rising faster than the space shuttle could ever dream of. And in a brief second; in a blink of an eye, it almost vanished for Isaiah Cooley. Who is this boy? Well you’re just going to have to find out for yourself.
Joe Mendoza was born in Northern Mexico in a small village named, San Jose de Medina. He immigrated to Mercedes, Texas at the age of five after his mother’s untimely death. He now resides in Poway California. Before becoming an educator, he proudly served seven years in the United States Navy as an aviation mechanic. After his honorable discharge from the Navy, he went to work at Homage Studios and Wildstorm Productions where he served as comic book editor and performed various comic book production services. During this time, he was going to school to become a school counselor. He spent 14 years in education as a school counselor and assistant principal. Nine of those great years were of counseling services to the San Diego School District and five were with the Romoland School District. It was at Romoland School District where he decided to go back to school for a Masters degree in Educational Leadership to become an administrator and served as assistant principal at the Middle School and Elementary levels. While serving as an educator, he often heard many students saying that they hated reading because there were never any books that spoke to them or that they could relate to. This motivated him to act on his dream of becoming an author and writing books that could speak to the student’s lives and also share with them life tools that would hopefully help them through difficult times while also addressing school issues. Omar Reza was born in 1981 in Whittier, CA, but has resided in Moreno Valley, CA. for most of his life. Growing up he was exposed to various types of music on a daily basis and he eventually joined the school band in fifth grade. He played the trumpet all through high school and a few years in to college where he eventually chose to pursue a Psychology degree. He then enrolled in grad school at Azusa Pacific University where he graduated with a Masters of Education in school counseling. Although he did not go in to the field right after graduation, he soon got an offer he couldn’t refuse to become a school counselor at two middle schools in Watsonville, CA. After only a year in Watsonville, he was offered a position as a school counselor for an elementary and middle school in Menifee, CA. Since then he has gone on to create a non-profit organization (Guidance 4U), with the co-author of this book Joe Mendoza, for counseling services in the schools. Along with this non-profit, Omar and Joe have written several youth empowerment books that were specifically written for children to educate and help them through difficult times in their lives while addressing many school issues.
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