Robert Cisneros ’98
“My Crossroads experience made me the leader I am today.”
Roberto Cisneros ’98 joined the Army after graduating from Crossroads, and his passion to serve has taken him to places around the world, including Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan and several South American countries.
Roberto was raised in a lower middle-class neighborhood close to the School, and his father, Miguel, was the head of maintenance at Crossroads when Roberto entered as a fourth-grader. At that time, there were few Latinx students at the School. In spite of the cultural challenges, Roberto remembers his experience fondly: “Some of the best years of my life were attending Crossroads. I had nothing but positive experiences there. From the staff to the students, everyone treated each other with respect. I am very grateful I had the opportunity to attend.”
Roberto began his leadership training at Crossroads. After school hours, he was involved in the Santa Monica Police Department’s Explorer Program. “My Crossroads experience made me the leader I am today,” he says. “In the military, we have men and women from different socio-economic backgrounds, religions and beliefs. Not once during my years at Crossroads did I ever feel discriminated against because I grew up in the low-income neighborhood just up the street.”
Roberto, who attended his 20-year Crossroads reunion this past fall, says his favorite memory is of his Ojai trip. He shares, “I am glad they are keeping up the tradition.” Longtime teachers at the School remember his Commencement speech as moving and thoughtful.
Roberto is now stationed at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, assigned to Army South as assistant inspector general. “I travel frequently to Central and South America to conduct inspections of our embassies,” he says. He’s entering his 19th year of service in April and is eligible for retirement in June 2020. Roberto and his wife of 17 years, Lita, own a house in San Antonio and enjoy living there.
When asked about his future, Roberto says one option he’s considering is becoming an instructor in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. “I would have the opportunity to mentor and teach young students in high school,” he says.