Divine intervention and a deep self-reflection on happiness brought Humberto Delgado ’12 from wanting a career in architecture to working with Hispanic youth in Michiana.
“During high school, I wanted to become an architect, and teaching or working with kids would have been the last field that I would have been involved in,” notes Delgado. “But after graduating from high school, I got involved in working with kids at church with our Sunday school. It was a lot of fun and I continued doing it more and more. Eventually, I got involved with young adult and teen programming and confirmation classes. Then, I got a job with the Diocese (of Fort Wayne-South Bend) working with Latinx youth. When I started at Holy Cross College, I really had to pause and think hard about what I wanted to do and what I really enjoyed doing. I realized that I enjoyed working with teens and kids, and what better way to do it than to teach.”
The journey after Holy Cross
“After I graduated from Holy Cross, I wanted to pursue a career teaching in a local elementary school. Unfortunately, that did not work out for one reason or another. In the fall of my graduation year, I was invited to apply for a temporary, part-time position as a Youth Assistant at La Casa de Amistad. I took the position thinking that I would stay there until I found the teaching position I was looking for,” recalls Delgado. “God had other plans, however, and after a few weeks of being at La Casa, I was offered my supervisor’s position. Not only that but I was also offered the position of my other coworker to become the Youth Programs Coordinator, a position where I would be in charge of youth programming from K-12 grade. Not having another position in the works, I took it on and started working with Latinx youth at La Casa.”
He later was asked to supervise the preschool program at La Casa and after several years with the organization, he was promoted to Assistant Executive Director for the organization. Currently, he has been with La Casa de Amistad for ten years and serves as the Assistant Executive Director/Director of Youth Programs.
Holy Cross influence
“I think Holy Cross has been the springboard I needed to really jump into my career. It provided me with the skills I needed to be able to work more efficiently and with a deeper impact on students,” said Delgado. “It also allowed me to look within myself and really tap into my creative side. It was a blessing because without Holy Cross I would not have been able to get a bachelor’s degree. Holy Cross is definitely a special place that has helped shape who I am today.”
“I think one of those moments was my senior year. I was so busy. I was student teaching all day till 5:00 p.m. then I had to go to the college to do my art capstone project at night. I would leave campus around 11:00 p.m. and then be back to school at 7:00 a.m. I also had to go to my weekly seminar and do lesson planning and homework over the weekend. Everything all at once, always thinking I never had enough time for anything,” recalls Delgado. “Somehow, I was able to push through and be able to get everything done. This experience helped me a lot in the work that I do. I now know that I can manage different projects, which is what I do every day, all at once without dropping the ball – well maybe once or twice, but that I am able to prioritize and multitask something that probably I would have really stressed about before.”
“For the future, part of it has already come true. I have been able to get a master’s degree from Mendoza at the University of Notre Dame in Non-Profit Administration,” said Delgado. “I now look to the future and think of a possible Doctorate. Doing this while still serving my community and making sure that I am able to guide and inspire other Latinx youth to follow their dreams, while still giving back to their communities. I also want them to appreciate who they are and where they come from, whether through academics and college, through business/trades, or something completely theirs.”
Photo courtesy of Humberto Delgado.