John Diego Vacca is the Executive Director and founder of Mission Possible 360, Inc. John is a native of San Antonio, having grown up in the Culebra Park neighborhood on the Westside. John has dedicated his to life help heal young people and their families suffering from abuse and violence in their home and community. He began serving others using “Sacred Space,” a program started over 15 years ago that has helped hundreds of families. This “Sacred Space” program led John to advance and formalize his approach through the creation of Mission Possible 360. John understands and can closely relate to the juveniles being helped, having dealt with similar life circumstances.
In his younger days, John lived an athletic life and was recognized as an All-Star high school basketball player during his years at Holmes High School, while living in broken, wounded, and pain-filled home, where family violence, child abuse, neglect, and abandonment occurred. After graduation from Holmes, he received a college football scholarship to play quarterback but his personal brokenness and trauma continued to consume him and he soon dropped out. The shattered and dysfunctional family life made it unbearable for John and he created escape routes that led him through more hells and even deeper darkness. To deal with his pain-filled life, John chose to hang out with the wrong crowd which led him down a very slippery slope.
He was then drawn into world of gangs, and as a gangster, he committed armed robberies, drug distribution, burglaries, and gang-related violence in three different states. His life as a criminal was also exhausting due to having to run and hide from the FBI, DEA, San Antonio Police Department, and multiple other law enforcement agencies. His “lucky break” came when he was finally arrested by the Bexar County Sheriff’s department and placed in the Bexar County Jail. After hitting rock-bottom and while waiting to be transferred, an elderly Catholic Priest visited him and led him in the recitation of the “Our Father” prayer. That chance encounter in jail deeply moved John and prompted him to consider the bigger picture. Being incarcerated for six years in state and federal prisons gave John the time and opportunity to reflect on the direction his life was taking. John recognized that “woundedness, peer pressure, poor judgment and estrangement from family” were the negative influences that he needed to change. He had come to realize that his only chance… his only hope for survival was turning his life over to God. John went through a spiritual transformation and received a God-inspired vision encouraging him to work with and bring healing to families, like his own, living in violent, abusive and impoverished conditions. That was over twenty years ago.
Now for the rest of the story. John followed through on his vision and dream of working with families and youth that needed healing. In 2001, John began his new career working with at-risk juveniles as Youth Coordinator at the Guadalupe Community Center in San Antonio, where he created and monitored the programs for positive youth development. He continued to receive further education through college, certification training programs, seminars and conferences. He also continued to work with at-risk youth at a couple of other local social service non-profits, including further developing his program at Por Vida Academy Charter High School. This education and experience over a 12-year period led John to create his own non-profit, Mission Possible 360, Inc., in 2013. More detailed information on MP360 is provided elsewhere on this website.
John is a facilitator and trainer in different personal development, spiritual and cultural programs. John is pursuing a degree at the University of Phoenix, is a member of the National Compadres Network. He is also a member of St. Mark the Evangelist Church where he has been involved with the Men’s A.C.T.S.-Recovery retreats. John is married to his lovely bride Jessica and they have a teenage daughter.