When Roger was 2 years old, his family fled El Salvador during the civil war. They moved into a low-income neighbourhood in Canada and had to start over.

Roger’s parents worked very hard to create a new life for their children which meant they weren’t around very much. There wasn’t a lot for young people to do in the neighbourhood, but Roger wanted to get into sports and decided to drop by the local YMCA.

His mom was worried she wouldn’t be able to afford it, but the Y offered financial assistance so Roger could participate. He felt welcome right away and the Y became his second home, a safe place where he could play and make friends. And that kept him out of trouble.

The support Roger received as a kid inspired him to pay it forward to youth in his community today. He motivates and provides them with the same guidance he needed when he was young. And he serves on the Board of Directors for the YMCA in the very same community where he grew up.