Leading The Way.
Entrepreneurship – creating something out of nothing – is emblematic of the pursuit of the American Dream. This was the case for Edgar Alaniz’s parents, immigrants from Mexico who started selling tamales on the streets and who now operate a small cellphone business. Although they fought hard to be where they are, they wanted a brighter future for their five children.
For the Alanizes, some years were fruitful and others brought them to the brink of bankruptcy. Edgar became a surrogate parent as the eldest sibling, while setting a strong example for his brothers and sisters, but this was not easy.
Edgar uttered his first words at the age of six. He started school in the third grade and was significantly behind his peers academically and socially. He spent most of his childhood fighting low expectations from his teachers and taunts from his classmates. All he wanted was to fit in.
Through Barrio Logan College Institute’s (BLCI) college prep programs, Edgar learned it was possible to go to college and become a leader for his siblings and his community. BLCI helped Edgar earn and maintain above a 3.5 GPA in high school. As a member of the coveted Executive Director’s Leadership Council, he worked side by side with the executive director to create projects to improve his community.
On May 24th Edgar addressed an audience of supporters at BLCI’s Opportunity for Impact fundraiser. In an emotional moment of gratitude he exclaimed, “I am who I am today, because of the doors BLCI has opened for me.”
In a few months, Edgar will be the first in his family to step foot on a college campus. He is on his way to the University of Redlands to become a social entrepreneur, a philanthropist and an admirable big brother.