Tyjohn Sykes, better known as TJ, is a native of the Richmond, Calif. community. Having been born and raised in the area, TJ has been exposed to various friends and family members that have become victims to incarceration and even worse, death. The heaviness of violence that is embedded in the Richmond community is what drew TJ to the RYSE Center in the first place. He believes that when it comes to justice, everyone should have equal access to quality education, food, shelter, employment opportunities, and so much more. TJ has been associated with RYSE–as a member and now, staff member–for roughly five years.
TJ serves as a Culture Builder under the Youth Justice department where he works directly with youth in maintaining RYSE culture to ensure a safe space for the youth to work, learn and grow in. Through this position, TJ hopes to encourage the young folks to pursue positive futures so that they can avoid falling into the already existing circle of violence. When he’s not building culture in the center, you may find TJ watching dirt bike videos on YouTube, getting in touch with his inner-poet, or finding ways to make others laugh.