This is our fourth in a series of profiles for the BIC Youth Outreach Team:

SalsaKevin G. Andrade
Age: 28
School: Rhode Island College and the University of Arizona
Course: History, Political Science, Latin American Studies

Q: How is it that you got involved in this field?
A: I remember my dad always taking me to the library and talking to me about random historical events in American history. I memorized all the presidents of the U.S. by the time I was in second grade and the interest just grew and expanded from there.

Q: Do you have any moments as a teacher that particularly stand out to you?
A: Yes. A few years ago I was a substitute teacher in Rhode Island, working in an inner city school district, I was on my first assignment and it was for a high-school special ed class.
These kids went across the spectrum from autism disorders to violent outbursts. I was terrified and in over my head yet was lucky enough to have one teacher lend me a hand. Although the moment came when he needed a hand because there was a new student who just moved from Puerto Rico and did not speak English. So he sent me, her, and one other Puerto Rican student who spoke English into another room to work.
This other student was a girl who was always shouting out in the middle of class and showing absolutely no interest in her education. I was worried that this would be a problem. However, in an effort to get the two students interested in their education, I chose to speak to them on the history of P.R. under U.S. rule. You should’ve seen how this girl got into everything. It was like night and day. At one moment disinterested and now, all of a sudden, asking questions and actually engaged with the material.
The next day, she came running up to me yelling, “Mister! Mister! Last night I was talking with my dad about all the stuff you were telling us about and he said you were right. He asked me, ‘who’s this new guy? You better treat him well!’”
That is by far my proudest moment as a teacher.

Q: Is there anyone in your field that you look to for inspiration?
A: Well, I’m actually a trained journalist and because of that, I am a huge fan of Bob Simon. The man was in the field for decades before his death and was not afraid to take risks. He reported from Vietnam, and was even taken prisoner by the Hussein regime in Iraq during the run-up to Operation Desert Storm. To me, he is the epitome of speaking truth to power; the epitome of journalism. It was that sense of adventurism that led me to my time working at the U.S. – Mexico border.

Q: Favorite Movie?
A: I have three: Pan’s Labyrinth, Wadjda and The Shawshank Redemption.

Q: Favorite music?
A: I have very eclectic tastes yet if I were forced to choose, I’d say salsa and bachata. I love to dance to that stuff.

Q: What about life goals?
A: I just want to be the best journalist that I can be and tell the stories of those who do not have a voice.

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