#5 of “23 Stories of Change” for our City Skyline Challenge!
Diego Velasquez was always taught to appreciate life and to not take things for granted.
After many years serving around the world in the U.S. military, he did not assume that each person he would meet would be kind and caring. Diego had become pessimistic in his expectations of society as he’d experienced too many mean and stressed out people.
However, his perspective was changed when he was given the opportunity to participate in an Outward Bound course via scholarship. He was beyond humbled that strangers “were willing to fund such a wonderful program so that veterans like [him] can find peace, unite with other veterans, share stories, laugh, cry and most of all feel like our service [had] been worthwhile!”. During his Outward Bound course, Diego was able to challenge himself in a non threatening environment while conquering his fear of heights with the rock climb. “The beauty I have seen during this hike was unsurpassed and the peace I received unforgettable.”
The Outward Bound experience humbled Diego and restored his faith in humanity. Working with his course-mates made him realize that there are also many wonderful people in this world worthy of trust. The beauty he experienced during the hike was unsurpassed and “the peace [he] received unforgettable.”
Diego carries the banner forward of inspiring trust and appreciation in others through his work and general kindness. He is an elementary school teacher in Plant City, Florida, and has been teaching English to adults at night school for over 20 years.
You can make an expedition possible for a student by participating in or donating to the City Skyline Challenge! As Diego shared, your gift can make an impact that resonates in a young person’s life for years and decades to come.