Teachers ≥ heroes

PROFile: Christopher Araujo, contract academic staff, Department of Philosophy, U of W

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Before becoming a contract academic staff member for the University of Winnipeg’s (U of W) philosophy department, Christopher Araujo had his fair share of struggles as a student. 

“When I was in high school, I was not a very good student,” he says. “I was making a lot of bad decisions in my life, in terms of substance abuse.” 

During that time, Araujo went through significant loss and turmoil, but was able to turn his life around with help and support from some key people in his life. 

“I was lucky enough to have a handful of teachers that really cared about me deeply,” Araujo says. 

The care his teachers showed went deeper than a teacher-to-student level, and resonated more on a human-to-human level. Through that level of care, Araujo’s teachers were able to find his potential and help him realize it. 

It took many years for Araujo to really turn his life around and hit his stride, but along the way, he had a string of teachers who encouraged him to keep trying.

“Even though I kept stumbling, even though I kept making bad decisions, they really genuinely cared for me as a human being.” 

Thanks to the support and his own hard work, Araujo attended York University and excelled academically. After having achieved so much, Araujo decided to pay it forward and become an educator himself.

“I thought if I could have a fraction of the impact that my teacher had on me, I mean, what more would you want in life?”

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

“Flight. It just seems easier to get around that way.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“Play blues guitar from the 1920s.”

What’s the best thing about your work?

“Feeling that I have a positive impact on my students.”

If you could say anything to your favourite teachers, what would it be?

“Thank you for making me who I am.”

Published in Volume 75, Number 10 of The Uniter (November 19, 2020)

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