Growing up in the projects of Los Angeles, Calif., Fernando Acuna was a teenager who aspired to build a better future for himself, but was unsure how to get there. Yet when he was introduced to Exploring, Acuna’s vision for the future became a lot clearer. Exploring ignited a passion in the teen that launched him into a lifelong profession.
Now, Fernando is a fire lieutenant and Exploring advisor for Dallas Fire Department Post 1166 and fondly looks back on how joining Exploring shaped him into the leader he is today.
“The fact that I’m a lieutenant in the fire service – I would have never dreamed that,” Acuna explained. “I just wanted to be a firefighter, really I just wanted to get out of the projects. But I remember my Explorer advisor told me, ‘You can do this Fernando. You will do this if you stick to what you know.’ And that’s where the Explorer program comes in. It makes that connection between the kids and the profession that they choose.”
Exploring offered Lt. Acuna the opportunity to learn more about his passion for firefighting firsthand and helped him transform that interest into a lifetime career. The program paved the way for a better life for him and he’s impassioned to provide direction to youth in the same way his advisor did for him.
Learn more about Lt. Acuna’s story by watching the video below or on YouTube and then share it with your friends and family on social media. To discover how to get involved in the Exploring program, head to the new exploring.org.