In Loving Memory of Juan Gallardo
“While absolutely heart breaking for one and all, I think we must search our hearts to find the beauty in Juan’s short time here with us on the planet. He blessed us with his presence and at some level impacted us all. Juan changed the college going rates for all three high schools in Santa Maria. Juan paved the way for our entry into not one but all three public high schools in Santa Maria. He gave 110% of his heart to the position and the opportunity to change his community for the better! And he did so from day one.
He then opened the doors for some of our newest colleagues on the EAOP team and invited them to come help change their community and this is now happening right before our very eyes in such an incredible way that demonstrates a passion, commitment, and vested interest in our youth that rarely moves beyond dreams. This one is coming true and Juan set the foundation in motion for the rebirth of EAOP in the Santa Maria community and our current Santa Maria colleagues are making it happen on a daily basis! A special thanks and appreciation to our Santa Maria colleagues (Nancy, Eunice, Alma, and Fatima) who supported Juan through this challenge and have continued to serve SMHS during his absence.
Let us honor his commitment, his courage, and drive to change the life trajectories of so many young people through education. And let us never forget his smile, his cooking talents, his sense of humor, his passion, his love for Andrea and his family, and the commitment to his community.”
-Britt Ortiz, EAOP Program Director