Changing lives forever

Think about all the faces you brush by every day. In every class in every hallway we pass by a million and more faces, and a million and more stories, a million and more ups, a million and more downs, without thinking.

Ed Alvarado is one face of many, and has one story that could change lives forever.

Alvarado grew up in the town of Laredo Texas, where he attended elementary school and middle school.

“For middle school, I went to a Catholic school,” Alvarado said. “I’m still recovering from that one.

By the age of 18, prior to graduating high school, he received a letter saying he was drafted into the military.

“I was so scared when I got the letter.” Alvarado said. “My first feeling was that of anxiety. I had never been away from home before. But like the other men of my time, we responded to the call and went to service.”

In the military Alvarado dealt with hardships he will never forget. Not showering for weeks on end and not having water after 10 am.

Alvarado recalls a time in which he was so desperate for water that he drank out of a filthy lake nearby, resulting in him getting malaria.

“The military has made me a stronger person and a better man.” Alvarado said, “I appreciate things more, such as drinking out of a water fountain, because we didn’t have that in the war. It made me more disciplined and I still use a lot of what they taught me in everyday situations.”

He served in the military for 12 years, fighting in Vietnam and Germany. Out of the military and due to a lack of jobs in the south, he moved to “the liberal north”, in Michigan to work at General Motors with his brother.

“I actually walked into the plant that afternoon, and had a job that night.” Alvarado said, “That’s how easy it was to get a job in the auto industry back then.”

While still working in General Motors Alvarado started taking classes at Michigan State. He was one of 14 Latino’s on campus, and the first in his family to graduate with an education.

“Education was not a priority in my culture,” Alvarado said. “Parents were happy just to have their kids working on an assembly line. It was a great sense of accomplishment to be the first in my family to get a degree.”

Alvarado loved learning, and before he knew it he had taken enough credit hours to earn a degree in “Arts and Letters”

With a degree Ed moved back to Texas and began subbing, eventually getting certified to teach. He worked in the district for 20 years, and is now balancing retirement with subbing.

“I’ve been working in the Denton ISD for over 20 years”, Alvarado said. “I have been a very blessed man and I love what I do.”