Blair Quinius ’05, Distinguished Young Alumnus
In 2008, Blair Quinius ’05 had a vision to combine his love of working with young people and his love of Honduras, where he taught at the Mayatan Bilingual School. This vision resulted in the first UrbanPromise site in Central America, where Blair now lives with his wife, Lauren, and serves as Executive Director for the organization.
UrbanPromise Honduras serves at risk children and youth in Copan Ruinas, Honduras, and seeks to inspire the children and youth of Honduras to fulfill their dreams by equipping them with necessary life skills. Through Blair’s work, he instills faith, hope, confidence and dreams and the organization is known as a safe place where children and youth can go for advice, emotional and spiritual guidance and love. Lauren says that Blair sees hope in situations that most people see as hopeless; he loves those whom society would deem unlovable; and brings joy to people who are down and weary.
Known as a genuine, authentic and dedicated young leader, Blair is also an avid fan of baseball, salsa and the Texas Rangers! The oldest of three children and the only male, he grew up being tormented as well as loved by two sisters. This has nothing to do with his mission now except maybe being tolerant toward others, which may be part of his ability wherever he goes to build community—places where people can flourish and grow.
Interestingly, Blair’s parents say that as a child and teenager, he was a little apprehensive about new experiences and not too adventurous, but they believe now that Southwestern was instrumental in helping him become the young man he is today. They say that when Blair decided to move to Canada and become a ski instructor, they doubted the value of his SU education! But they saw that the move was just the beginning of Blair’s quest to explore, think for himself, follow his dreams and begin making a plan for his future.
One of Blair’s mentors explains that in just four years he has established a team of committed people, built trust in the community, offered hope for hundreds of children, and has been able to raise the funds necessary to keep UrbanPromise Honduras moving forward. He says that Blair attracts amazing people who love to work with him, and that he can feel the passion and commitment of the members of Blair’s team and can see the difference he makes in the lives of children whom have been part of the program.
A fellow alumnus and fraternity brother says Blair is creative, thoughtful and has shown him what a life of serving others looks like. He says, “Most folks have no problem writing a check or volunteering a few hours a month to help others, but Blair has really made this his lifestyle—not many people can be that selfless.” He also says that Blair is competitive, even challenging him to a milk drinking contest in college. He says he outlasted Blair and declared himself the winner, although many would say there is no winner in the “gallon challenge.”
Seriously, Blair’s friends and family say that he has a way of drawing others toward himself and loving them free from judgment; and that he infects people with love through his sincerity and warmth. They are encouraged by Blair’s dedication, challenged by his humility, and invigorated by his entrepreneurial spirit and love for people.
Speaking to his steady and dependable character, Lauren says that before moving to Honduras, Blair worked with UrbanPromise in Vancouver, Canada, where he built strong relationships with many children and youth. She believes that people see Blair as a positive light, trusting and valuing him as a dependable mentor and friend, whether near or far.
Many people have big dreams of changing the world, but few are actually willing to step forward and make it happen. Described as loyal, devoted, faithful, passionate, kind and honest, Blair is positively changing lives in Honduras and inspiring others to proactively make changes to their communities as well. One of his colleagues says, “Lots of people talk about making the world a more just and humane place … Mr. Quinius has done it.”
For being a remarkable example of a young man who has decided to live his life in a way that helps build the lives of impoverished youth into young men and women who are academically astute, visionary and confident; for challenging others to become better servant leaders of our communities; and for his willingness to follow God’s call on his life, The Association of Southwestern University Alumni presented Blair Quinius ’05 with the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award for 2013.