Hi, my name is Hugo Salazar – I work for inspirED as a GO Center Mentor and currently attend Tarrant County College (TCC). I graduated in 2013 from Sam Houston High School in Arlington, Texas, where I’ve lived most of my life. My younger sister, Nora, is currently a junior at Sam Houston High School. My parents, Eleuterio and Nora, have always made education a high priority for my sister and me because they understand how important education is in today’s world and the doors that it can open for us both.
My parents' encouragement helped me decide to go to college, but there were many others that helped guide me through the actual steps to get to college, which is how I first became involved with the GO Center.
Two advocates that stand out the most for me include Cynthia Carter, Sam Houston Counselor extraordinaire, and Margaret Oaikena, former TCU Advise TX Adviser and current inspirED Outreach Coordinator.
During my junior year, I was an office aide at the College and Career Center (aka GO Center) at Sam Houston High School. I thought that it would be like any other office aide position – you just sit there and wait for them to tell you to do different tasks; however, being an aide there really opened my eyes to the possibility of achieving a higher education. That summer, I started taking Dual Credit courses, and I joined Seamless Pathways, which helped ease my transition to TCC – this is also how I met my mentor, Regina Cannon. I strongly believe that without these people, I would not be the person I am today because they all played such an important part in my high school years.
Since becoming a GO Center Mentor with inspirED, my overall knowledge and skills have improved dramatically. I’ve learned how to communicate with different types of people and I’ve developed new leadership skills as a Senior Mentor by taking on additional responsibilities and helping new mentors understand their role so that they can be successful. The job itself pays enough to cover the cost of my textbooks, but I don’t do it for the money. I’ve told my mom before that I would do this for free if I could because it’s something that I love to do, and it makes me happy.
I personally benefited from the GO Center when I was in high school, and I recommend every student who’s thinking about college to visit because there are so many services we can provide to help make the transition as easy as possible. I feel like I’m now giving back to the program that was such a big influence in my own life. I hope to continue influencing students’ decision to attend college the same way others in the GO Center positively impacted mine.
After graduating from Tarrant County College, I plan to attend the University of Texas at Arlington to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Sports Management. I’d love to work for FC Dallas in their Business Development division or for Dallas Sports Commission, an organization where I currently volunteer.