Application countdown Q&A | Vicente Escobedo

Vicente Escobedo, San Antonio 2008

As we count down to the final application deadline for the next Public Allies class, we invite you to listen to snippets from conversations we’ve had with our Alumni. It’ll give you a glimpse into the Public Allies experience and the impact it has on a person’s life and career. Today, please meet Vicente Escobedo, a San Antonio 2008 alumnus. Vicente has been supporting single dads since he became a dad himself in high school, and today he continues that work as an outreach coordinator for the San Antonio Fatherhood Campaign.

Public Allies: How did you learn about the Public Allies program?

Vicente Escobedo: I was working with the Fatherhood Campaign, and the executive director of the gave me an application. To be honest I looked at it and I just threw it to the side, I wasn’t really interested. And then he encouraged me and he told me what the opportunity was and he knew I was a perfect candidate for it. So I submitted my application.

P.A.: Why didn’t you think you were a good candidate?

Vicente: I didn’t really have the skills. The application was long (laughs). And I was pretty much comfortable doing what I was doing at the Fatherhood Campaign, just answering phones and talking to people.

P.A.: What’s the most important thing you think you learned from Public Allies?

Vicente:  The most important one was work ethics. Before Public Allies, I didn’t have a real structure. Work ethics? I wasn’t taking it very seriously. I mean I loved my job, but I didn’t really think I was that important, so I would just do mediocre stuff here and there. You need me to do something? OK. I’ll go pick it up or I’ll do this report. I didn’t really dedicate myself to what I was doing. Public Allies kind of challenged those work ethics – taking pride in your work, understanding that you are important to the community. And I think that’s one of the most important things that I learned.

P.A.: Did you ever do the Public Allies exercise called “I used to be … now I am?”

Vicente:  Yeah, that was part of the Presentation of Learning. I really can’t remember what I said.

P.A.: How would you put it now?

Vicente: I used to be a regular guy with a regular job who didn’t really have a lot of goals in my life. But now I see myself as somebody who’s important in my community. Because now I’m not just thinking about my goals and my family, but I’m also thinking about my community as a whole.

There’s a lot of stigma against men in the community. A lot of stigma about abuse against children and men being the perpetrator. And I see myself now as somebody who, if I can help stop one single guy from hitting a child or abusing a female, then I think I did a good job. Before Public Allies, I didn’t think I was important enough to help anybody.

:: Public Allies San Antonio is taking Ally applications until May 29. Click here to learn more.
:: Visit the Public Allies website to learn more about the Ally Program.
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