Tracey Alvarez

Last updated: 2009

Tracey Alvarez

2009 Beat the Odds Honoree

As a champion for those whose voices are weak, Tracey Alvarez envisions her life’s work as an advocate for global social justice. Tracey’s personal experiences as a child growing up in a tumultuous home environment of constant conflict shaped her compassion for others and her penchant for leadership. Tracey and her siblings endured a decade of traumatic legal battles between their parents, resulting in countless interventions by social workers, therapists, and lawyers. Her unstable home environment and the ensuing financial struggles burdened Tracey with adult responsibilities at a young age. Misbehaving in her early elementary school years was her way of coping.

Despite her obstacles and on the threshold of attending middle school, Tracey felt inspired by the prospect of a new beginning and the desire to help others. She shed her veil of low self-esteem and acting out to courageously embrace a road of exemplary behavior and scholarship. While helping to care for her younger siblings, she has maintained a 3.9 grade point average in school, served as class president for the past four years, run the Los Angeles Marathon and remained active in sports, performing arts, leadership organizations, and environmental justice groups. Of particular note was her life-altering trip to India made possible by a full scholarship sponsored by Studies Abroad for Global Education (SAGE).

Tracey has the tenacity to succeed and the heartfelt desire for a career in service to others that will span far beyond her strained home environment. This selfless calling is eloquently described by her teacher and advisor, Mr. Chase Orton, as “a kindness, grace and optimistic spirit with compassion for fellow citizens and a commitment to making this world a better place.” With her achievements and devotion to humanitarianism in the face of personal struggle, we are proud to honor Tracey Alvarez as a 2009 Los Angeles Beat the Odds award recipient.