Unsung Heros: Adrian

Unsung Heros: Adrian

Chanelle Zak, Staff Writer

Known as one of the best stir fry cooks in the dining hall, Adrian shines in the spotlight this week as RU’s Unsung Hero. Many students know his name and cooking skills, but who is he outside of the dining hall?

Adrian grew up in Morelia, Mexico with his family, and first came to the United States in 1997 with his father. Morelia, as Adrian describes, is a big city much like Kansas City. However, when he first came here, he lived in a small town in Kansas, very different from the life he had built in Mexico. After staying in Kansas for six months and gaining citizenship, he returned to Mexico. Then, he came back to the U.S. for good in 1998. That was not the end of his trips to Mexico, however, as he makes the journey back every six months in order to visit his family.

His favorite holiday here is the 4th of July because on that day, “America is alive.” As he explained, this holiday brings everyone outside to enjoy the day and spend time with family. When everyone is outside like that, it reminds him of home.

When this hero was asked what accomplishment he is most proud of, he shared that he gave a year and a half of his time to take care of his 88-year-old uncle who was handicapped and fighting cancer. “Giving your time to someone, especially to your family, is very important.” As he explained, Mexico is not as handicap-accessible as it is here, and it was often very difficult to help his uncle get around the city. It was tough work, but he was very thankful to get to help his uncle in that time. He credits growing up in a Catholic family with teaching him to serve others. He was taught that “it brings you good things when you do good things for another person.”

His advice to college students is to not forget their roots and where they came from. “We give ourselves to our careers, but we forget that we have people who gave us all of their time. We need to spend time with them.” He lives out this advice when he visits his grandmother and aunt every day before he comes to work.

Since Adrian serves as a hero at Rockhurst, it was of course necessary to ask him what superpower he would like to have. His pick was: “The ability to give people the chance to do things. Things like going to school and getting an education. Not many have those opportunities.”

When asked what opportunity is next on his bucket list, he responded that he had never thought about a bucket list before. “I’m blessed with what I have,” he shared. “I and everyone else are doing okay… I am blessed.”

The last bits of advice Adrian chose to share were this: “You have to see all sides of every situation. Give people a chance to make it. With helping and helping and helping, we can bring everybody up through the shadows.”

When it comes to education and careers: “When you have some money, you have the power to think of yourself as just an individual, but that is wrong. You are part of a community. If you have knowledge, to whom are you going to pass it? If you never pass it on to anyone, your knowledge dies with you, and that is a form of greed.”

A student in the dining hall shared, “Adrian is honestly one of the nicest people in the caf that I’ve met. He always has a smile on his face and greets me by name. When I’m waiting in line, we always have great conversations and I appreciate his genuine kindness and happiness.”