Daniel Anzaldo

Last updated: 2006

Daniel Anzaldo

2006 Beat the Odds Honoree

A young man who was not afraid to ask for help in order to prepare for his future, Daniel Anzaldo, recently returned from the Grizzly Academy in San Luis Obispo. The Grizzly Academy is a voluntary program that promotes an academic environment that helps develop leadership, improve behavior and strengthen self esteem in high-risk students. Daniel decided to enroll in the Grizzly Academy after family problems spilled over into his school life in destructive ways. When Daniel left for camp he was struggling to connect with his family, from whom he had been separated for much of his childhood. Daniel was sent to live with his grandmother in Mexico when he was three years old. Daniel found himself living with a family he did not know in a country where he did not speak the language. He struggled with feelings of abandonment and uncertainty as he tried to adapt to his new life. When Daniel returned to his mother 4 yeas later he had a hard time adjusting. His first few years back in the United States were very difficult. By the time Daniel reached high school he was having a tough time managing his life stresses and school responsibilities. Through encouragement from his counselor Daniel voluntarily chose to go to Grizzly Academy, where he received six months of military training, received assistance with his studies and learned healthy life coping skills. Daniel’s counselor wrote that he “exceeded our expectations and triumphed at the academy.” At Grizzly Academy Daniel improved his failing grades to all A’s and B’s; he returned home committed to maintaining that standard. According to Daniel “I did all this for myself for my future, not just anybody would have done what I did…” The Children’s Defense Fund salutes Daniel as an outstanding 2006 CDF Beat the Odds® honoree.