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SHS student defies critics, aspires for education
by Garrett Valenzuela
Sep 12, 2012 | 3456 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela - Sparks High student Mario Guadron has come from humble beginnings but he has high goals.
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela - Sparks High student Mario Guadron has come from humble beginnings but he has high goals.
SPARKS — While standing in front of Sparks High School, Mario Guadron shouts to a young boy passing on the sidewalk admiring his photo shoot. “How are your grades? You better not be lying either!” he shouts to the youngster before settling into his pose.

Guadron has many admirers around the Sparks campus. At first glance, you might think it’s his running back role on the football squad or his state championship appearances in wrestling. In fact, it is his kind demeanor and polite, humble tone of speaking that has him constantly conversing with passing students on Wednesday.

Guadron has earned the right to be humble from his 17-year upbringing in Sparks in a household with his four brothers and a sister. He learned early in life that doing light work for his mother was a job he didn’t mind.

“When we were little my mom had to work a lot of 10-hour shifts so we did not see her much and we were at home with a family of six to work together,” he said. “For the most part it was bad but we knew we had to work together to get stuff done inside the house. Growing up I was always passionate to my mom and she taught me how to clean, so I was always pretty much the maid. I cleaned up every day and took care of those things around the house.”

Now a senior in high school, Guadron plays the role model for his younger brother and sister hoping they will one day shine in their own light.

“I do want them to look up to me and I do want to set an example, but I hope they can be strong and find their own path in life that fits them,” he said.

Much of Guadron’s humility comes from the loss of his older brother Luis Chinchilla who died in his family’s home last year. Chinchilla, who was mentally handicapped, became prone to seizures about a year before his death.

“When we were little we didn’t know any better so we didn’t know he was different in any way,” Guadron said. “One night we called him for dinner and he didn’t respond so we just thought he was sleeping until we went to his room and he was cold.”

Living with the tragic loss of his brother, after working through anger management classes as a middle schooler, Guadron has turned his hardships into inspiration to work with mentally challenged children as a Special Education teacher. He said his hope would be to instill confidence in those children and remind them they need not fear being different.

“I love my brother and once I understood what he was and watched and observed him, I believe they need more of a chance than people give them,” he said. “I looked at my brother and he was good with the ladies, I can say that, and I want help others find that confidence and be able to be sociable in the community.”

Guadron admitted he was a terror to deal with as a young child, giving the community around him reason to believe he would not amount to much. But his persistence, and some motherly love, have helped him get back on the right track.

“I knew I had a problem for a long time and my mother was always there. She always talked to us so sweetly I wish she would have hit me sometimes,”

Guadron said laughing. “I was told by people all the time that I was going to be a failure and I was right next to the kids who didn’t do anything. They had no hope for me and being a senior now and looking back it amazes me and I laugh at what I did when I was younger.”
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