For years, Natividad Mendoza was a part of a dangerous gang in the city of Fresno, CA and was in and out of prison for the better part of 18 years. In late 2003, a judge who had the ability to send Natividad back to prison for 14 years, decided to show grace by letting him go to a rehab program instead. Natividad was moved by the decision. This act of grace caused him to open the Bible he had in his prison cell. Natividad was struck by the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1, which read “ being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”.
In 2004, Natividad completed the Teen Challenge program in Bakersfield, CA and went on to graduate from the Teen Challenge bible college. After Teen Challenge, Natividad was involved with a handful of gang prevention and urban poor organizations before beginning A Cord of Hope in 2008 with a friend, Cliff Porter. A Cord of Hope sought to help young men out of lives of addiction and violence through means of construction jobs. With the economic recession, however Natividad and Cliff realized they had to broaden their scope and with a renewed focus and vision, From Gangs to Jobs was born.