In the most assertive voice, James spoke during the "My Future, My Choice" town hall Friday night.
He wore his red tie with pride. It is part of the uniform of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence program that runs with the help of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
James talked about a mentor who helped him, after his father was deported.
"He saw something in me that I had yet to see in myself," James said.