No one really thinks much about the people around them. The guy standing behind you at Target. The chick that makes your coffee at Starbucks. The people who wash your car. All these people who occupy your space in life that matter but we don’t register as humans. Well, today that changes. Today, you can take a look into the life of someone who would normally just “occupy” space. These are the faces of San Diego. Are you ready to hear their story? It might not be what you expected…

His name is Ian Fraijao. He is 21 and is a dishwasher. When he was 16 he graduated high school and from there he attended Mira Costa Community college to comeplete his general education with plans to transfer to UCSD to get his degree in Computer Engineering. In 2013, his friend Vinny Zellelfrow, died due to a hit and run drunk driver/under the influence minor. Ian and Vinny had been friends for a long time and he took the loss really hard, unable to focus on school it suffered and he ultimately decided to take a leave of absence.

In an effort to deal and heal with the loss of his friend, Ian decided that he was going to spend his time traveling and tutoring for a program called, No Child Left Behind. The program focuses on kids that just need that extra help focusing, like Ian, to get better and focus on school. In August 2015 he got a job working at Dukes La Jolla and spends the rest of his free time doing that. Ian however, plans on returning to school and finishing his degree. It’s not his passion anymore but he, “Wants to finish what he started”. What Ian wants to do now is help kids. He wants to help them be more motivated, ultimately becoming a teacher. Possibly even going into computer science and engineering.

When I spoke with Ian I asked him two things, what he wished people knew and what was his greatest lesson? He said,“Respect everyone in general… you never know their backstory” and “It’s important to spend time with the people you love” respectively. That is so true on both accounts. People think so little of a dishwasher. But Ian is educated. A lot of people are. And the time that we have on this earth is unknown to us. We never know when we will leave, so it is important to make each moment count. Make time and cherish each moment. They all matter in the end.

The last thing that I asked Ian before we said our goodbyes was what choices does he think led him to where he is now, he said so wisely; “All my choices have led me to where I am, including the choice to not make a choice.”


Wow! I mean just wow. To have lost some one in such a tragic way at such a young age. Then to decide that instead of wallowing in it you want to help people. THAT, is an amazing show of character and a pretty cool human being. I am beyond impressed with Ian and I thank him 1,000 times over for taking the time to talk to me. I am so humbled. Until next time, have a very merry un-birthday to you!

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