Outstanding Hispanic: Raul Magdaleno
Raul Magdaleno is an extraordinary young Latino who overcame extreme adversity in order to become the first member of his family to graduate from high school and college.
Born in Mexico City, Raul immigrated to the United States, arriving in Dallas, Texas, at the age of two. By the time Raul was seven years old, his father had died and all of his brothers were in prison. Raul realized he had to be a leader in his family and help provide for his disabled sister and single mother.
Raul’s mother remarried a man who was abusive and they eventually moved to a domestic violence shelter when Raul was 13. It was at this point that Raul says his life changed for the better. Moving out of an abusive home and into the homeless shelter instilled in him an unwavering sense of faith, education, and service to his community.
At that point, Raul Magdaleno began volunteering in his community at the age of 13, mentoring young children at a local learning center. Barely a teenager himself, he worked tirelessly to help women and children who were victims of domestic abuse, just like his family was. Additionally, he worked with Dallas police in a youth program, and promoted education at elementary schools. In 2002, as a result of his compassionate service to his community, he received the US Congressional Gold Medal, Congress’s highest civilian service award, for his efforts to help the victims of domestic violence.
By working hard in the classroom, excelling in school and donating his time and efforts to the community around him, Raul Magdaleno has become an exemplary role model for the Hispanic Community.
"The reason our kids are failing is because no one has ever taught them to dream bigger. Their dreams are limited to their environment. The biggest challenge is to teach Latinos who are part of low socio-economic communities the possibilities of what the world has to offer them. We have to raise our expectations of the Latino students because if we raise it they will exceed their current performance."
"I really think that part of the solution is getting students involved in tackling the problem. A great example of this is a workshop we held for high school students recently. The students were pin pointing the biggest issues that were negatively affecting their academic performance, teen pregnancy for example, and coming up with solutions on their own. Gaining the students input and perspective is really the key to solving these sorts of problems." It is because of those accomplishments that we recognize Raul Magdaleno as an Outstanding Hispanic.