Meet a Roadrunner: Rick Trevino is eliminating food deserts through a farmer's market

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Rick Trevino , San Antonio Writing Project

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(March 11, 2015) - Meet Rick Trevino '08. An ordinary drive one day changed his life, and the lives of those living on the East Side of San Antonio.

While listening to the radio, he learned about food deserts and a program in Michigan that helped people without access to fresh fruits and vegetables get access to them. He knew if it could be done there, he could pull it off here. And he wanted to get the ninth grade students he teaches at Sam Houston High School involved.

Treviño is very passionate about changing difficult situations through policy. That, he says, was something he learned at UTSA where he majored in Political Science. A 2008 graduate, Treviño later earned his teaching certification through the College of Education and Human Development.

“UTSA is a big part of my life,” he said. “Teaching is not an easy profession. It’s difficult. It’s emotional. But the experiences I had here made it real for me. UTSA really helped me cope with those things.”

So he took what he learned at UTSA to the community surrounding Sam Houston High School and, with his students, is launching one of the first farmer’s markets on the East Side. Its opening day will be April 18.

“I wanted to get the kids to do some urban research, and they embraced the idea of starting the farmer’s market,” Treviño said.

Together, 130 students planned where the market would be and how it would function. They pitched the idea to the Promise and Choice Neighborhood grants program at the Ella Austin Community Center and received funding through the San Antonio Food Bank, another partner.

The market will take place monthly, with May 23 and June 20 dates already confirmed. Other projects also are in motion for Treviño and his students. He recently started a partnership with a bicycle shop owner where students can learn how to fix bikes.

“What’s beautiful about this program is that the kids did it,” Treviño said. “It made me love my profession more, to see that we can actually empower kids to change the community. My kids – they were fearless.”

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