Service At Heart
Luis Gutierrez Salinas ’14 still remembers the first time he saw the University of Redlands, driving past campus with his father.
“It was so beautiful,” he said. “I thought, ‘What a cool place to go to college.’”
His early decision was solidified while attending Beaumont High School, where friends who had already graduated told him about the enriching experiences they were having at Redlands.
“They were giving me details that you can’t see from the outside,” Luis said. “They talked about the professors, the small classrooms, the friendliness, and the close community.”
A volunteer throughout high school, Luis was especially interested in visiting the Community Service Learning office once he was at Redlands. Through CSL, he found out about a volunteer opportunity at Totally Kids Specialty Health Care in Loma Linda, which is home to about 60 patients that are bedridden and cannot live outside of the facility.
“These kids cannot move, most cannot speak, and they don’t get visited very often,” Luis said. “It wasn’t their fault they were born in this situation, and I feel it is my personal duty to help as much as I can.”
Luis dreamed of going to medical school and becoming a doctor, but his plans changed once he started volunteering at Totally Kids.
“I realized that I like to work with people, especially kids,” he said. “I fell in love with it, and I became the student director at Totally Kids the beginning of my sophomore year. I was offered a job there after college, which would be a great start, and further on I want to get my master’s degree in business. I want to start a nonprofit or something related to health care, something that is mine and I can grow into.”
The beginning of his sophomore year was also when Luis found out he had received the Florence ’37 and Kenneth Green/Class of 1937 Endowed Scholarship. A history major, it was fitting for Luis to now have a tie to one of the University’s past classes.
“It means a lot,” he said. “It creates a connection between me and the early history of the University of Redlands. That’s a cool feeling.”
Luis knew he would go to college, but as a first generation student born in Mexico, it would be a challenge. This scholarship and the others he received were life changing.
“I come from a family with modest means,” he said. “If it wasn’t for the donors that have given me scholarships I wouldn’t have been able to go to the University of Redlands. This definitely has me thinking about creating one myself in the future.”
Posted: Dec. 19, 2013
Written by: Catherine Garcia