Alan has been part of the Amigos de Jesus family since his first tenure as a volunteer in 2008 when he ended up as a volunteer for over three years in two different stints. No one could have imagined that an Aerospace Engineering degree from the University of Notre Dame would lead to a life as a volunteer and eventually a permanent staff member (since 2013) at Amigos de Jesus. Alan is known for his endless patience - from managing the complicated logistics of the lives of 135 children and youth to helping students with math and science homework - he gives constantly of his time and love. Originally from Houston, Texas, Alan’s whole family is also involved with Amigos de Jesus.
What do you like about Amigos de Jesus?
There are too many reasons I love Amigos, and too many lessons I have learned over my years here to do them all justice in writing. But to me one of the greatest single characteristics of Amigos is family. We all come from our own small ones to form a big one here. Like any family, we certainly have frustrating moments with our kids, but the best way we can help our children is by treating them as family. As opposed to attaching labels and past traumas to kids, we instead learn to love each of them for who they are, not what others say they are or what others have done to them. For example, any person growing up in a loving family would not think of their own child as “the one who cheats on homework” or “the one who always gets his lunch money stolen.” They would say “this is my child” and do whatever they can to help their child through their rough patches. That’s what we strive for, and that’s how we form family.
What have you learned at Amigos de Jesus?
I have learned in almost a decade at Amigos that, while we are indeed a home for abused, abandoned and neglected children, we are most importantly a home for CHILDREN. And I don’t care the descriptions that come with them - these are my children, and this is my family. And I, really all of us, will do all that we are capable of to get them through their rough patches.