Alvaro Barberena, Bus Driver at Georgetown University

“Sometimes the students say, ‘I’ve always wanted to thank you because you always say hi to me every morning with a smile.’ I tell them about my family and my 3 Pit Bulls – I have 2 male and 1 female that I adopted from the Humane Society in DC 7 years ago. Their names are Rumor, Chunky Monkey, and Remy Martin – like the drink! Rumor was found roaming the streets in DC. People thought she was pregnant but it turns out that she had a tumor in one of her kidneys. They couldn’t save her kidney. Chunky Monkey was abused by his previous owner and people found him on the street just like they found Remy Martin.. I had to work extra hard to get him to behave because he was afraid of almost everything. This is what happens when people abuse animals… Pit Bulls are misunderstood. My wife didn’t want me to get any of them because of the stereotypes – they fight and bite. But I don’t blame the breed – the problem is the person behind the leash that trains them. I consider my dogs as part of my family and they wouldn’t harm anyone.”

Anthony “Tracy” Smith, Crosswalk Guard at Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center

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Anthony “Tracy” Smith, Crosswalk Guard at Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center

“I believe that God will always put you where you need to be. He told me that I need to be here. 12 years ago, my father got killed in a crosswalk.. he was just a pedestrian. He got killed in the North East DC – between 6th & Florida Avenue. My dad worked at the market as a Meatman – everyone used to call him Mr. Sam. He had good character, made people smile, was a hard worker, and everybody liked him.

I do this job for [my father]… this is where I need to be – keeping everybody safe. And just knowing that gives me more energy and a brighter smile.

..The students talk to me about what it’s like to be away from home and be independent. They come to the crosswalk , and If they look like they’re having a bad day, I always tell them to smile! A SMILE IS FREE – It costs nothing! And then I tell them that their smile is worth more than money and gold..”
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The next time you see Tracey or other unsung heroes on campus, spark up a conversation and thank them for their service to our GU community! Every Unsung Hero has a story – we just have to take the time to listen and show a level of acknowledgment