Roll Models Ep. 15: Roberto Casas – A Beautiful Grind

When hard work and perseverance meets a motivated mind, everything is possible.

Nowadays, there seems to be more excuses for failure than there are reasons to succeed. It’s become such a common theme that we’re accustomed to hearing but our next featured guest dispels those rumors and shows how hard work and dedication will trump naysayers and even a lack of opportunity.

For the past 40 years, Dr. Roberto Casas has been a professional educator, but long before that he was just Roberto Casas—a former student who was told that he didn’t have the grades to make the cut into college and should probably enroll in technical courses.

Yet it was those words that motivated Roberto to excel. Not looking for handouts or a guided tour through life, Roberto took the insult personally and decided to fight with his head instead of his hands or mouth. Roberto buckled down with his head buried in his books and through countless hours of studying he wound up earning his teaching credentials with a degree in Chicano Studies; but this wasn’t enough. He followed that up with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation, Sports, and Administration, and this simply acted as the fuel that fired up an extended regimen of study and one that would ultimately land him a Masters Degree in Administration. At this point, most would hang their hats and degrees on the wall but the insinuation that he wasn’t cut out for college was reminder that he needed to do more, so he followed all those accolades with a Doctrine in Organization and Leadership.

But ask him which degree helped him identify with the struggle, and which degree taught him to better understand inner city kids and his answer may surprise you. It was his education in the streets that gave him the upper hand. His struggles and challenges in high school provided him clear advantage in better understanding his students and along with that passion for education was also a clear and definitive passion for both lowriding and family matters.

Growing up in South El Monte, Roberto is more than familiar with lowriding. He essentially witnessed the birth and early evolution of lowriding and can still remember the site of the cars and the sounds and actions behind the hydraulics. But these memories were ones that permeated not only his mind but also his soul as today he still lives the lowriding lifestyle. As a member of Veteranos Car Club SGV, and the owner of a custom 1953 Chevy, he is a firm believer that all is possible when opportunity meets hard work, and when it comes to lowriding he only has one thing to say as he sits back, smiles, and says, “Lowriding brings communities together.”

Don’t miss out on this story of hard work, inspiration, and proof that both the body and mind are limitless when used correctly.