Gabriel Lomeli Knows That No Dream Is Too Big!

Gabriel Lomeli has been a passionate youth mentor for several years. After earning his Bachelor’s Degree in 2008, Gabriel accepted a position in an afterschool program at the Redwood City Boys & Girls Club, which evolved into a leadership role at the Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academy.

Gabriel Lomeli

Although his students often credit him with teaching them something magical, Gabriel is modest about his contribution, and gives all the credit to his students’ creativity: “I love seeing my students take something I taught them, and turn it into something so creative I can’t even believe they made it! All the magic comes from them – I only teach them the basics, and they add the rest.”

Gabriel says that Adobe Youth Voices has made resources, software and equipment available to his students that otherwise they never would have had the opportunity to work with. This has given them a whole new platform to be creative and exercise their innovation. He encourages his students to make the most of it, telling them, “If you work hard and practice your craft and skill, opportunities will come up, you just have to be ready to seize the opportunities when they arise.”

Gabriel Lomeli | Stand Up For Haiti

Last year, Gabriel himself was able to provide an example of this advice in action. When a friend recommended him to apply for a graduate program at Stanford University, he decided to practice what he preaches to his students. Gabriel began the long admissions process by setting up a desk at the Boys & Girls Club and studying for his GREs each night after work, which allowed his students to see firsthand the hard work he was putting into achieving his goal.

Last spring, shortly after returning from the Youth Listening Tour in Washington, DC, Gabriel checked his email one afternoon and let out a shout. Students gathered around him to find out what the shout was for, but Gabriel, stunned by the news that he had been accepted to Stanford, was unable to speak. It wasn’t until one of his students looked over his shoulder and read out loud the good news on the computer screen that everyone in the room was able to join Gabriel in his excitement. When he finally regained his ability to speak, the first thing he said was, “See what I told you? No dream is too big!”

Gabriel Lomeli & Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Students

In the following weeks, Gabriel noticed that afterschool hours at the Boys & Girls Club had grown unusually quiet. When he discovered that several of his usually lively students were crowded into the homework room with their noses in their books, he asked them what this sudden change was all about. Replied one of his students with a grin, “You think you’re the only one who can get into Stanford?” Clearly Gabriel’s example had a powerful motivating effect!

Even though Gabriel is busy with his graduate studies at Stanford, he still makes a point of spending one day a week with the students he worked with and is planning on having them help him with a documentary to fight human trafficking. No dream is too big.