South Mountain alumnus talks about pursuing your passion

Efrain Robles, a former Jaguar News reporter, now works for CBS News

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Efrain Robles is a former South Mountain student who was in Jaguar News and came back to inspire students to never give up on their ambitions. Robles is currently on assignment as a video journalist for CBS News, where he’s constantly going places. Robles has traveled to many places, including Alaska, the Virgin Islands, and the Galapagos Islands.         

“I think growing up in South Phoenix, you’re told you can’t make a living off your passion,” he said. “You grow up … and it starts to seem like all there is is South Phoenix. It’s gotta be this way. But the reality is there’s a hundred different paths ahead of you.”

Robles described himself as a latch-key kid during his childhood. The term refers to someone who had little parental supervision. He even goes as far as to say his television was his best friend.

“I knew I was poor. It was difficult … for us at home in terms of having enough food to eat,” he said. “Growing up you kind of have to escape into your imagination. You get lost in books, you get lost in writing, art.”

Robles offered some advice to the communications students he spoke to.

“Don’t let people tell you that you can’t make money off of your passion,” he said. “Whatever your passion is, don’t let people tell you that you can’t be anything that requires this passionate side of you guys.”

Robles also said that the only thing that is important is that students have a reason for pursuing a career.

“Just have a why you want to do something,” he said. “The how will come later. How you’re going to do it will eventually figure itself out. Just have a reason why. If your dream is to be a writer, or learn six languages, or live in multiple countries, someone who travels the world, writes books, or any number of these things … as you keep walking, you keep getting at your dreams.” 

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