In the first half of this week’s Valley Edition we talk about issues that plague almost every community in the San Joaquin Valley: gangs, drugs, violence, poverty and dropouts. FM89 reporter Rebecca Plevin tells the story of a Tulare County teen named Geronimo. He's a kid caught in the middle, between his gang and those who are fighting for him, and for the future of the valley. He's a high school dropout, but his future is far from certain.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

From a young age, Geronimo Garcia wore a uniform to school: high socks, shorts and a white T-shirt.

It wasn’t a school requirement. Rather, it was an older brother requirement.

“They used to dress me up like a little gangster,” Geronimo says. “To me I always thought that was cool, but you know, as I think of it now, I don’t think that was cool when I was young. Come on, looking at a little kid dressed up in gangster?”

Since then, his clothing has determined who he hung out with at school.