The following story was featured in the Fall 2022 Providence Magazine. CLICK HERE to read the full magazine.
ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: ADRIAN SAUCEDO ‘21
Throughout his adolescent years, Adrian Saucedo’s life was unpredictable and he never truly felt like he had a place to call home. His father passed away when Adrian was young, and his mother was in and out of his life due to addiction. At different times, he moved around to stay with extended family, friends’ families, even his cross country coach at one point. But his Grandmother, Alma, and his Aunt Elsa and Uncle Fausto, all played a key role in keeping him and his sisters out of the foster care system. It was while living with them from 5th grade to Sophomore year, that they first instilled in him obedience, structure and respect. Although Saucedo had many hardships, he looks back on the brokenness with a secure understanding of God’s hand over his life leading him to Providence and his current career. He describes how his childhood shaped him, “Who knows who I would have become if I didn’t go through anything tough. But honestly, if my story tells you anything it’s that I got taken care of at a lot of different points in my life.”
After attending public school for elementary and middle school, he went on to attend Ontario Christian High School with his cousins. During his senior year, he and his friend were recruited by Providence to play soccer. Adrian reflects on a significant heart change that took place after getting immersed in the college: “Soccer was my main focus at the time, but that went away really quickly, as other things became more important to me.”
The friendships, the faculty, and the excellent teaching of theology shifted his focus and reoriented his priorities. Saucedo remarked, “If it wasn’t for Providence I don’t know when I would ever be introduced to Reformed Theology. It was a really big point that significantly molded me.” Adrian was also particularly struck by the bond of friendship that he shared with many mature and godly men during his college years. “Seeing the way they acted and talked, the accountability they had and their knowledge about faith. It challenged me to think deeper. I really fell in love with that bond between Reformed brothers.” Saucedo elaborated that these bonds “had more substance to it as opposed to someone with loose theology. Reformed theology teaches and forces you to love in a different way; it’s not as demanding to love your brother. I got to experience that, and I knew I wanted that.”
Not only did Saucedo see God’s hand at work in finding a supportive community and growing deeper in his faith at Providence, but he also saw the Lord’s guidance toward his career path during his college years. From the time he was in the 5th grade and did a career project, Saucedo said he wanted to be a Police Officer. He remarked, “It’s something I always wanted to do. Part of it has to do with seeing all the bad things around me: good people going down wrong paths, how drugs, alcohol and bad choices can rip a family apart… That made me want to help and protect people from certain things I went through. Being a Police Officer was just a matter of ‘when’ for me.” During his time at the college, he made connections within the broader Pasadena community that turned out to be rather providential. While working at a coffee shop in Sierra Madre, he met a woman named Marilyn Diaz. Although now retired, she was the first woman to be on patrol in Pasadena and eventually the first woman to become Chief of Police in Los Angeles County. Diaz became a mentor to him during and after college as he was making decisions to pursue law enforcement. When Adrian’s wife, Lindsey, was accepted into graduate school in a different state, Diaz collected recommendations for departments that Adrian could apply to near their new home. Within a few weeks, Adrian’s prayers were answered. Saucedo was sworn in as a Police Officer on September 30th, 2022.
As Adrian reflects on his journey at Providence and where he is at now, he is grateful to the faculty, staff and friends that supported and encouraged him to pursue his dreams. He recalls the significant lessons that were impressed upon him during his college years: “Providence taught me how to think deeply. Instead of seeing things only in black and white, it taught me to be open to see different perspectives. Nothing is really quite as it seems. The obvious answer isn’t always correct; there’s usually more to it. Thinking critically was one of the most significant things I learned at Providence.” Adrian is excited to start this new chapter of his life and to apply the skills and principles that Providence so deeply instilled in him. He reflects, “Everything leading up to college forced me in a certain direction. Statistically, the odds were stacked against me. But everything that happened was important and put me where I needed to be to get to Providence.”