Every educator’s dream is to not only produce functioning members to society, but there is no greater accomplishment by an educator than to produce to produce kind, selfless leaders that give back to their communities and that seek to inspire the next generation. On Thursday October 7th Hidalgo Elementary was given a generous donation of $1500 by some of its Alumni.
Michael Saldaña and his childhood friends David Ortega and Jonathan Cantu grew up in Hidalgo. They all attended Hidalgo Elementary as children and continued to graduate from Hidalgo Early College High School in 2012. The trio continued their education further and Saldaña (27 years old) is now an attorney for Peña Aleczander Law Firm. Ortega (27 years old) and Cantu (28 years old) currently hold Vice President Marketing positions for the firm. The trio now working together decided to go back to their roots and give back to something they all had in common which was Hidalgo ISD.
“Something I wanted to do was to tap into the community, everybody wants to give back, but not everybody is able to do so. We hope that giving back is a stepping stone for others and the teachers that brought us up will continue to do so for the next generation. I hope we can inspire the students to be curious and explore what interests them.” Saldaña said firmly.
The trio was welcomed back with open arms by their former teacher Mr. Fabian Perez who still currently works with Hidalgo Elementary. Perez was a teacher that they described as one of only a handful of teachers that weren’t just going through the motions, that he was a teacher that had an impact on his students and took the time to understand what he had in his students. Perez was a big reason for the trio making their return to Hidalgo.
Jonathan Cantu found his motivation in his peers and truly believes that he’s in the position that he’s in now because of his friends, “It wasn’t easy, nothing in life is easy. The journey was tough, there were ups and downs but we built each other up. I grew up here in Hidalgo and I thought a certain way for a long time, but I grew to learn that it’s not about where you grew up or who you grew up around. There’s always a way out. There’s always a way to get where you want to be.”
The alumni proud to be back, were all smiles as they handed over their generous donation to Hidalgo Elementary’s new Principal Laura Garza. This moment was incredibly special to David Ortega. “My mom works here,” Ortega had said, “For us to be able to come here today and do the things we did is not only honoring my family, but I feel like I’m doing a service to the community. No matter how different you feel, you can do whatever you set your mind to, and we’re proof of that.” Ortega finished.
Hidalgo ISD takes pride in building the future, and is incredibly grateful of the donation its alumni has given.