SOS Youth Spotlight

My name is Mario Terrazas, I am a Masters Student in SOS Outreach and have been in the program for 7 years.  This is my story:

I was born in Vail, Colorado, to parents who were very young at the time. My mom was 17and my dad was 18 when they had me. I can only imagine how much I changed their lives and how many sacrifices they made to raise me. Being the first born, I was born awesome. I was a Saint Patrick's Day baby and kept my mother in labor for many hours. She still reminds me every now and then that I was a stress when I was born, and 18 years later, nothing has changed. If you get to know me, you’ll realize that I got her sense of humor. I grew up exactly half of my life in a trailer park in Edwards, Colorado, and I was taught how to be street smart very early on. I shared most of my childhood with my younger brother, Jesus. Jesus and I were the only kids my parents had for quite a while. Later on my parents had my second brother and the middle child, Raul. After his birth, my family moved to a home in Gypsum. After we moved to Gypsum, my younger two brothers were later born. I have four brothers total, and all of them are a pain, but they make me who I am today. My parents have always played a critical role in my life. They always wanted the best for me and taught me core values very early on. They may have been young, but they knew what it took to be a good person.

When I was young, my parents signed me up to learn how to snowboard at a non-profit called SOS Outreach. They didn't know the goals of the program - they just wanted me to learn a new winter sport. As the years passed, my parents understood that SOS had many of the same core values they introduced to me. They encouraged me to participate past the University program. So here I am as a Masters' student. S.O.S has become such an enormous part of my life because it got me involved in the community by doing community service and by getting to know how to apply courage, discipline, integrity, wisdom, compassion, and humility into my daily life. My Sherpa this year is the best mentor I have ever had. He enables me to actually be a leader in my group and always gives me good advice on anything to better myself. He gives me the responsibility of leading our group, helping them with their snowboarding and how to incorporate the core values into their daily lives.

I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up, but then I got an idea from helping SOS students as well as from being involved in my church. I want to become a teacher. Many friends have tried to convince me otherwise, saying that financially it is a horrible move. But I tell them that I am not into it for the money. I want to become a teacher so that I can help others achieve success. Education makes all the difference in an individual's life, and I want to be one to help make a positive difference. Through all that SOS has taught me, I know what I want to become.  Without the program, I don't know what would have become of me.