He’s known since high school that he wanted to be a counselor. T
Aguilar said he was tormented by bullies in high school. It sent him spiraling deep into a dark place. He remembers having suicidal thoughts and cutting himself to ease the pain.
His family didn’t know what to do to help him. He didn’t know what to do, either.
“Being in that abyss is not fun,” he said. “That’s a big part of why I want to be a counselor. I want to bring a little light to that abyss.”
This week, those past struggles didn’t show. Aguilar smiled and chatted animatedly about his work and about his adventures in Kokomo.
He’s met strangers on the trolley. He admitted he was shocked by their warmth and willingness to strike up a conversation with him.
He spends time in the Kokomo School Corp. international dormitory. Aguilar said he’s making friends with the exchange students who are teaching him to speak Japanese and Danish.
The Ecuadorian saw his first-ever baseball game in Indianapolis.
He said he misses the mountains of Ecuador and is still amazed at how flat it is here. But he’s even managed to find the silver lining in that.
“It gives you a better view of the sunset,” he said.
Lindsey Ziliak, Tribune education reporter, can be reached at 765-454-8585 or at firstname.lastname@example.org