“There are days when I don’t want to get up and go to work or I don’t want to continue following my dreams but attending [DreamMakers] reminds me that there’s a generation of kids that will need my help in getting to the same places that A Bridge for Kids helped me get to.”
Last month, A Bridge for Kids alumnus Salvador Terrones talked to us about his journey from high school at The Preuss School to undergrad at San Diego State University to his career as a Real Estate Agent and Mortgage Loan Officer in National City. This month Terrones spoke with us about his continued involvement with our annual DreamMakers fundraiser, an event that has allowed him to connect with students who are experiencing similar struggles to those that he faced growing up.
For ABFK alum Salvador Terrones, the concept of giving back and making an impact takes many forms whether it is in his personal or professional life. In high school, he was interested in pursuing social work because of his experience in the foster care system, but after taking a few classes in college, he decided it wasn’t the best fit. Over time, Terrones has realized that the drive to help others does not have to be restricted to one major or one profession and that everyone has the ability to create positive change, no matter their educational background or career path.
In addition to the college tours, one of the biggest ways that he continues to give back is through his involvement with A Bridge for Kids’ annual DreamMakers fundraiser. “I don’t think I’ve missed [DreamMakers] over the last five or six years. Every year it’s exactly what I need in terms of being reminded of the community that I come from and that there are students right behind me that are striving for the same success that I’m striving for. I’m so grateful that I’m allowed to go back and continue participating in this event because every year I’m blown away by different stories from students who are really going through it and are still able to become successful down the line.”
Terrones sees these students and their struggles in school and in life as a motivating factor in his own work. “Throughout the different events I’ve connected with these students on social media and three or four years down the line they are doing big things and a majority of them are in college now. To know what they went through because they shared it with us and to see them thriving and succeeding pushes me when times get tough. There are days when I don’t want to get up and go to work or I don’t want to continue following my dreams but attending these [DreamMakers] events reminds me that there’s a generation of kids behind me that will need my help in getting to the same places that ABFK helped me get to.”
Terrones admits that it took him several years to acquire this motivation and drive for success. “If there is a takeaway from my experiences going to Preuss and graduating from SDSU, it’s that it’s never too late to get back in the game. From sixth to tenth grade I wasn’t your A+ student for many reasons. Part of it was I didn’t feel like I fit in anywhere in my community and because of that I was constantly trying to make a name for myself for all the wrong reasons.”
Terrones credits The Preuss School and A Bridge for Kids for giving him a community that he could invest in and really feel a part of. “I remember I had my doubts about even graduating from Preuss and at moments I wanted to leave to go to my local high school. It took until 11th and 12th grade for me to start realizing that all I needed was a community that I could connect with and for me at that time I was editor in chief of the yearbook and I played lacrosse. I had to dive into those communities and get involved to realize that I had a place.”
When asked what advice he would give to current high school students, his words are pretty simple, “Don’t give up. Even though there are times when it seems like there’s an easier way out or the grass looks greener on the other side, you need to continue to push forward even if you are stumbling. Even when you’re stumbling, you’re stumbling ahead.”