Mario was born and raised in Pontiac, Michigan, a small inner city just outside of Detroit. Mario witnessed a lot of aggression and violence at a young age that was entrenched in drug abuse and drug trafficking. Seeking that male model, Mario soon began to model the habits and norms of the guys in the neighborhood. Mario began selling drugs at 13 and by 15 he was robbing drug dealers. Sadly, at the age of 16, Mario took the life of a local, 26 year-old drug dealer, during a drug deal/armed robbery gone bad. Mario was charged and convicted of murder and served 19 consecutive years. Mario served almost 3 years in solitary confinement before the age of 22.
On January 22, 2014, Mario was released from Jackson Cooper Street Prison. He was denied at two universities before being accepted at Wayne State’s School of Business where May 5th 2016, just two and half years after his release, Mario graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting. In addition, Mario is a published scholar with a thesis titled Incarceration of Adolescents in Adult Prisons: Adults’ recollections of their experiences and its impact on adult adjustment. In 2016, Mario worked full-time as a Legislative Aide for State Representative Harvey Santana, the Vice-Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee where he has served as a mentor within 5 schools of the States 9th District, where he assessed the 21 schools (both public and charter) and issued a 165 page report titled Detroit’s School to Prison Pipeline. Lastly, in 2016, Mario served as a learning coordinator for BKB Academy’s Stabilization program on Detroit’s East Side (targeted towards 12 to 17 year-old at-risk, homeless students at BKB Academy middle and high school). At the time of his release from prison on January 22, Mario was training and mentoring three classes of 17 to 25 year old at risk prisoners that were targeted by the prison administrators as the most problematic prisoners. The administration moved these “youths” around the living areas of the men who now make up LUCK, Inc. (Rick, Camron, Lus, and more) and, in time, those youths became like the ones they were around: peacemakers and servant leaders. Mario has mentored hundreds of children since his release from prison just three years ago. Mario… is a transformed man.