Guidance to a Better Life
Smart adolescents know that drugs are bad for you and can kill you, but there are some that do not comprehend that and learn the hard way. Gerardo Galindo, also known as Gerry Galindo, is a Student Assistant Specialist. He works with teenagers at A.C. Davis High School in Yakima, Washington that have issues with drug and alcohol use. He helps them cope with their addictions and gives them the resources and walks them through the process of ending their addictions and redirecting their lives to be drug free and become successful in the future. During the interview, Mr. Galindo said that he is very passionate about his work and his main focus every day is to help students make good choices now to have a much better future. Mr. Galindo is also the advisor for C.C.A.N. Club. C.C.A.N. Club is a club at Davis High School that operate in the same field and with the same goals as Mr. Galindo. They spread awareness about the dangers of drug and alcohol use on adolescent brains that are not fully developed. If they know someone struggling with drugs or alcohol in their lives, whether it’s them directly or someone in their lives, they will take them to see Mr. Galindo or give them other resources to help make them feel more comfortable.
During the interview, Mr. Galindo was very understanding that there were some technical difficulties and did not mind that we had to begin the interview a little bit later than originally planned. I feel that my interview with Mr. Galindo went very well despite the problems in the beginning. Mr. Galindo is a very smart and caring man that just wants to hep youth. Even though it seems as if Mr. Galindo goes off on tangents sometimes, he always has a point in what he says that relates to the question asked and he knows how to bring his response back to answer the question effectively and you get a more thorough answer than you might expect.
Mr. Galindo is a first generation in his family. He was raised by migrant parents that came from Mexico. Growing up his parents were more focused on making a living and making sure that their children had a home and food that making sure they learned to read or write before they started school was not a priority. When Mr. Galindo did start school, he immediately took to reading and school became his major sponsor. Majority of his reading and writing abilities were taught by his teachers. His reading however was initiated from parents. Although his parents did not make learning to read or write a priority, they did make sure that once Galindo knew these skills, he had the materials he needed in order to help him further his ability to read and write. “They were migrant workers working in fields and so the reading that I got exposed to was, I think my earliest, thinking about literacy is, things that I could read were like, interesting enough were like comic books.” Comic books were a good start for Galindo because even if he did not immediately understand every single word in the book, the pictures helped him gain the main concept and plot of what was happening on the page and how the story was progressing. “Some of them were about characters, Mexican characters, that they picked up like their um, the only Mexican store in Yakima.” They also helped expose Mr. Galindo to his own culture. Regardless of what he was reading in school in English, reading these Spanish comic books and learning more about his own Mexican culture also helped in his advancement in reading. Where he was living at the time did not have a very large Hispanic population and so this reading exposure with the comic books and school not only helped him understand two cultures but also learn to read in 2 languages.
Writing, for Mr. Galindo, was all done in school. His teachers were every encouraging to students to write and really emphasized writing in their curriculum. “Third or fourth grade there was a program where they took young authors, took them to a conference and um I think in fourth grade I had the opportunity to go to the conference because I was doing really well in vocabulary and reading that they gave me that opportunity.” In Mr. Galindo’s school, they really encouraged writing from an early age so that the students would not struggle later on and would actually be ahead. These types of conferences were held in order to encourage students to have a creative outlet rather than just focusing on the math and science and boring aspects of school. Whether their writing was for their own personal gain such as a release of emotions through a journal or to present and entertain other people such as with stories or poems, the school really encouraged students to have some kind of creative writing outlet. These kinds of programs aimed to give kids an outlet are what encouraged Mr. Galindo to go into this type of social service work and create the club. Mr. Galindo believes strongly in sponsorship like CCAN Club because they are great to give students an outlet where they can be themselves without judgement and where they can help others while helping themselves create their better future.