Victor Rios is the Student Support Manager at Common Ground. He has guided students through high school academically, and emotionally, for years. Educational Change intern Amelia Bragg-Phillips interviewed Mr. Rios to get an idea of his everyday life, and the pathway that led him to his job at Common Ground.
What’s your job at CG?
I am the Student Support Manager at Common Ground. I monitor student attendance, student academics, and graduation.
What are your previous work experiences? What skills did they help you bring to your current job?
I’ve worked at a farm, a restaurant, and I was a residential tutor at a tutoring center. These jobs helped me learn how to work with young people. I also learned about food security, and how to grow my own food.
What part of CG made you come here? What makes you want to stay? What motivates you to work here?
I originally went to Common Ground because it was another job to take. Eventually, I developed great relationships with students and staff, which is a good motivator to stay at Common Ground.
What makes you want to work with young people/young adults? What made you want to be an educator?
I was once a young person, and I know that if I had a staff at school who was like me, I would have been more motivated to come to school everyday, and take school more seriously. I want to be able to support students in ways that I wasn’t supported.
What’s your approach to helping students?
When I help students I always try to have their best interest in mind. I never want to cause harm in any way, shape, or form.
What were you like as a high school student? What kind of learner were you?
I honestly just wanted to be done with high school. I wasn’t really interested in most of the things we learned there. I relate to a lot of the kids at Common Ground, who also feel that way, and I want to make their experience different than mine was.
What advice would you give a current CG student?
I would advise all Common Ground students to stay in school. Get your high school diploma at the very least.
What’s one change you’d like to see at Common Ground and why?
I would like all of our practices to put students at the center, in order to improve our school culture.
What’s something positive that stayed the same throughout your time at Common Ground?
A lot of things change frequently at Common Ground; one thing that’s always stayed the same is Ms. Miriam. She’s a positive force that’s been here for 23 years.
What do you want students and families to know about you as a person?
They can always reach out any time, for whatever reason, and I’m always available.