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Meet a Roadrunner: Jesus Trevino turns his struggles into triumphs

Jesus Trevino
Jesus Treviño '14

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(June 17, 2015) – Meet Jesus Treviño '14. This San Antonio police officer has turned hardships into fuel for spectacular triumphs.

A Criminal Justice and Criminology graduate student, Treviño is UTSA's first-ever student to receive the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's Kenneth H. Ashworth Fellowship. The honor recognizes individuals in a master's or doctoral graduate program who exemplify exceptional promise in the field of public service. And if there's one thing that Treviño understands, it's the cost and necessity for exceptional public service.

After all, police officers make sacrifices on a daily basis: enforcing laws, tackling complex community problems, supporting their families, risking their lives and even experiencing the loss that comes from that risk.

In 2010, a drunk driver killed a close friend and classmate of then-Police Academy Cadet Treviño. The officer was assisting a motorist at the time of the accident. A year later, another close friend and fellow officer lost her life to a drunk driver. The deaths of these colleagues motivated Treviño to further his career in law enforcement in their honor.

Treviño currently works in the SAPD mental health unit, which specializes in crisis intervention. He trains police officers to effectively communicate with the mentally ill to minimize escalations and use of force.

Treviño earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from UTSA in 2014, graduating summa cum laude. He is pursuing his graduate degree, which he believes will help him learn practices that will prevent, reduce and manage crime.

"The reason I came back to school was for my three sons, to improve their life," Treviño said. "My wife and kids are my biggest supporters, and I couldn't have made it this far without them."

In addition to his service with the SAPD, Treviño is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and two overseas tours, one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. The military, he said, instilled in him the importance of hard work, self-reliance, discipline and responsibility.

"If you work hard, you can do anything, including earning the Ashworth Fellowship," he said. His selection was based on his academic ability, career plans and personal qualifications, including leadership and communication skills. Despite the hardships that Treviño has experienced – from the loss of friends, two overseas tours, the daily grind of police life and the struggles of being a full-time graduate student – he has never given up on his dreams of being a public servant and leader in his field.

It's his way of remembering his fallen friends.

"The reason I don't give up, even when it's difficult, is because they never did."

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