A few years ago, Ismael Cosio, who lives in Guadalajara, was with his daughter who was visiting him for the summer. They stopped off at a store when a car screeched to a halt and a man in his mid-20s rushed up to him. Ismael braced himself but was suddenly the recipient of a huge hug. The man was crying and Ismael had no idea who he was. Turns out it was one of the kids Ismael had rescued in his past. The boy was only 13 when he met him in 2004. “He was a street kid that I picked up,” Ismael said. “We gave him shelter, food, school all the way to the beginning of high school.”
Before working at Alorica—he’s now Operations Team Manager at the GDL2 site in Guadalajara—Ismael worked as a social worker on the rough streets of Columbia where he helped teenagers. Many of them that he assisted had escaped with their lives from the militant revolutionary group, Le FARC—having been traded as soldiers for money by their own families.
Ismael moved to Mexico City where he started his own program for homeless kids and those battling drug addictions to help give them a second chance. It was a very rewarding 11 years but Ismael needed a break and he’s so thankful for the new path that he’s on at Alorica.
When asked what he missed about social work, Ismael said with a smile, “I don’t miss it, because I still do it. I just don’t get paid for it anymore.” In fact, Ismael said he’s even recruited a couple kids to work as agents at his Alorica site, one making it to Production Team Leader.
And what about his old protégé who hugged him on the streets? “He went out on his own, got a job. We stayed in touch and at some point we lost contact but I knew he was going to college. He has a beautiful wife, a little baby. And he told me he graduated from UVM (Universidad del Valle de Mexico.) The greatest thing was my daughter’s reaction. She was so surprised, and she cried in the car. That was the best, that my daughter got to see that.”