Federico “Fede” is 17 years old, has lived in many places during his life, but for the past seven years he has lived at Casa Vida y Esperanza (CVE), a children’s home in Magdalena, MX. Fede is the fifth of eight siblings, four of which currently live at CVE. Their mother passed away when Fede was 10. Working with animals has always been a part of his life as he spent his youngest years living on his grandparents’ ranch. Fede has also learned a lot about riding horses and ranching from his father who is a cowboy. Fede is a very intelligent young man with an excellent work ethic. He has a strong interest in agriculture and livestock, especially horses. In last year’s Expo Esperanza, the annual livestock show held at CVE sponsored by The Fatted Calf, Fede exhibited a lamb and a horse. Fede really enjoys Expo Esperanza because he especially likes working with animals. He comments, “I like the fact that the younger children are learning more about animals.” The approach of Expo Esperanza is learning-by-doing and Fede affirms, “I really learned a lot last year, especially about being responsible and having patience.” For the 2012 Expo, he is planning to participate in the horse project again as well as show a heifer, a new project this year. In addition to his high school classes where his favorite subjects are English and literature, Fede works 16 hours per week at the meat company Productos Carnicos La Mision (PCLM). At PCLM, he is involved in all aspects of production, packaging, and sanitation, and when production is slow, Fede assists with sales and product promotion. Fede relates, “I sought out this opportunity because I wanted to work, I wanted to earn money, and the connection between PCLM and CVE makes it easier and more accessible to have this job.” Regarding his job at PCLM, Fede says, “I have learned much – meat science, factors in meat processing, how to get along with and work with other people, being responsible, working hard, being a good leader by watching others, and much about operating a business.” As of now, Fede’s career preferences include seeking a career as a veterinarian, a child therapist, or an art teacher. He says his first choice is to be a veterinarian because he wants to help in those areas of Mexico where there are not enough veterinarians and the animals die from lack of treatment. Fede acknowledges, “But if God doesn’t want me to be a veterinarian, I don’t want to be a veterinarian.” We feel extremely blessed to be able to work together with Fede here in Magdalena, and we have all learned a great deal from each other.