My name is David Cruz, I am a Social Worker at Ivy High School.
I grew up in a Latino household in Atlanta Georgia. My father was a former Marine and retired IT administrator from Caguas, Puerto Rico. My mother is a self-made business owner and cosmetologist from Brooklyn, New York. They taught me to be proud of where I came from and that America is the land of diversity. I learned that I was diverse at an early age from questions that people asked; like 'why our hair was curly' and 'what language we were supposed to speak'.
The pressure to speak English and pacing of education put anxiety on my brother and I behind because we were dual language learners. We were placed in ESL and language development programs and were processed as Special Education students before they found out we spoke perfect English.
We were immersed into bigger classroom sizes and were often targets because of how slow we read. On the playground I was picked on and teased today we would have labeled it bullying.
All of those life lessons taught me the importance of a resilient mindset. I learned how to not take everything so personal. I relied on my faith and my family to persevere even when life events like: death, divorce, separation and trauma became my reality. Learning how to respect each other's struggle and listening to our community stories became a healing tool that helped me become a school counselor. I feel blessed and honored to live out my dreams of helping others heal their emotional wounds through the tool of counseling.
I am blessed to be a father of 4. I have a daughter (21) and 3 sons (16, 12 and 8).