SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Wilbur Rubio was proud to join the U.S. Army right after 9/11.
"I did Operation Iraqi Freedom," said Rubio. "We were one of the first boots on ground."
After serving our country, he was looking to transfer the skills he learned in the military into a second career. That's when he discovered Teach for America and its Military Veterans Initiative.
"I love education, I'm very passionate and any skills from the military are very transferable into civilian life," said Rubio.
What Rubio brought to the classroom at Alliance Burton Tech High School in South L.A. was leadership, integrity and commitment.
"For students, to have a role model like Wilbur, he can relate to them, they learn from him," said Bianca Nepales Gervacio of Teach for America. "For Wilbur, he's able to transfer his leadership skills into being one of the most impactful teachers on campus."
"I see a lot of them in me because I was the first to graduate college, first to get master's degree," said Rubio. "I'm a first generation immigrant. I see a lot of myself in my students. They do not know what college life may look like; some of them ask me about my military service, if that is something that could benefit them. So I try to give them a lot of options and that's a good thing."
Army veteran brings leadership, integrity, commitment to South LA classroom