B i o g r a p h y
My name is Joseph LaMarca, founder of 'Sound Teenage Adult Mentor Program' (STAMP). My job, commitment and desire in life are all about making a difference. My focus is in addressing society's youth, as well as adults who display abnormal and or delinquent behaviors. including drug addiction. My goal is to prevent those from falling into this lifestyle and motivate them to recover if they have already succumbed. I am versatile in dealing with various ages and dispositions with dramatic results; addressing groups of psychologist, educators, college and law students besides our youth.
I am a formally incarcerated man who served seventeen years in the New York prison system. My criteria includes the dangers of addiction, importance of education, prison reality, peer pressure, gang life, impulse control, aggressive behavior, goal setting and motivation. My life story was 'loosely told' in the motion picture 'City By The Sea' starring Robert DeNiro and James Franco.
I spent my youth and a major portion of my young adult life on the streets with all walks of life. My resume was a criminal rap sheet more extensive than a college thesis, yet I was an expert at hiding it. This is no game, my words are not make believe. The experiences I speak of combined with the lessons I teach are not from a classroom. Everything is REAL! This is what our young men and woman need, someone to keep it real with them, explain the pain, then inspire and uplift.
One reality is that by the time a counselor may intervene, the individual displaying antisocial behavior resents anyone trying to interrupt in their life of seeking instant gratification. The youth believe positive role models try to prevent them from having fun. In no way do I try to establish myself as the 'alpha of the pack' over them. This only makes youth rebel. Instead I help them clearly comprehend that they themselves are the alpha, they are in charge, and every road they travel in life will be entirely up to them, be they juvenile or adult.
I have lived in the gutter on drugs, cried in fetal position on the floor of prison cells and hospitals, and the truth is it's amazing I am still alive. There was a book written some years back by a man named James Frey titled 'A Million Little Pieces' which was promoted by Oprah. The book turned out to be a lie. Mr, Frey had fabricated his words, embellished his story of a life on drugs.
I mention this to point out that I am not a fake, there is no need to fabricate a single word, and this is why others sense the realness and respond to me so magnetically. The fact is that crime and addiction begin in the mind. We think wrong before we do wrong. This means that the thinking must be addressed and corrected. My intention is not to scare and intimidate; this will only invoke the 'fight or flight' instinct. Instead my goal is to open their eyes to reality, the insanity of drug use and any unlawful life.
Yet, just as essential, I elaborate on the steps others must take in order to succeed. In today's society there is nothing more important than teaching our youth and young adults how to live with proper morals and decision making.