We had the good fortune of connecting with Zachary Garza and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Zachary, what principle do you value most?
Faithfulness is the value that matters most to me. Being someone that is true to their word and a person that others can count on is of the utmost of importance to me. I believe that there are not too many things more important than proving to others that they can trust me to do what I said I am going to do. The little things matter as well. Small things like being faithful to arrive on time to meetings shows that I value other people’s time. Being faithful to say “thank you” and giving people my full attention tells someone that I appreciate them and care about our relationship.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I like to refer to myself as a “social justice entrepreneur”. Nothing gets me more excited than thinking of new ways to serve and support my neighbors. Whether it is helping someone strategically plan how to overcome certain obstacles or encouraging someone to believe that they have what it takes to succeed, my tank gets filled up by helping others in creative, out-of-the-box ways. I am most proud of the children and mothers that are a part of our program. They are the real all-stars and I’ve learned a lot from them. I’ve learned to ask what my neighbors need instead of assuming what they need. There is a lot of good things that happen when you learn to be quiet and ask questions. I want the world to know that great things happen when people come together and build relationships. No one has it all figured out and one would be wise to get to know their neighbors and their stories over a cup of coffee or a meal at a table.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
It would be hard to beat a slow morning at the original Buzzbrews off Central. If we got hungry for lunch, I’d probably head over to Resident Taqueria and say hi to Andrew the owner. Be sure to order the chips and salsa and For Happy Hour, it’s either having a great conversation at The Lounge Here or relaxing on the porch at Goodfriend in East Dallas. Dinner, you gotta go with either Bob’s Steak and Chop House or Neighborhood Services. For dessert, it’s the churros at La Ventana. I’m a man of faith, so I’d either take them to hear Bishop TD Jakes at The Potters House or the worship at The Upperroom Dallas. Doesn’t get much better than that in my book.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There is no way that I would be here without my Board of Directors. They have equip me with the tools needed to run an organization, manage a staff, and develop the self-confidence to expand our impact within our community. They have invested time and energy into making me the man that I am today and I am forever grateful. They had the courage to tell me what I needed to hear instead of what I wanted to hear and they gently corrected me when I got offtrack. I owe my submission to my board as one of the main factors in our organization being where it is today.

Website: www.forerunnermentoring.com / www.youcanmentor.com
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Youtube: Forerunner Mentoring Program

Image Credits
Adam Fish