Second Shot: Gabe Salazar took a traumatic childhood and uses it to change the lives of thousands of teens across the country

Second Shot
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DALLAS, Texas (KDAF) — Gabe Salazar had a rough childhood. It was a childhood filled with trauma and, at times, homelessness. Too often, such a scenario kicks off or just perpetuates a continuous cycle of childhood trauma from one generation to the next.

Salazar, however, was able to get a second shot after his difficult childhood and now he’s one of the top motivational speakers for teens in the country, helping kids and teens make it through their own struggles.

Breaking the cycle of childhood trauma isn’t easy, however. “It doesn’t happen overnight,” says Salazar, “to flip the switch.” Today Salazar is able to commit himself to being the father he didn’t have to his own four children. He says “I’m not a perfect dad, but I’m here,” he says, “every time I’m sitting down and having a good time with my family, I’ll say ‘this is the best moment of my life.'”

Salazar is also able to take the work he did on his own life and share that with thousands of youths across the country. As a speaker, he’s visited schools throughout the nation to share his story and help others. Not even the pandemic has slowed him down – just this past October he was able to speak to over 22,000 kids virtually in one week.

The pandemic has complicated an already very complicated time in life – adolescence. Salazar says the biggest issue he’s encountering in teens is isolation. He says “we are made for connection, we are made for relationships, and right now we have so many kids – even though they all have phones – they all say ‘I feel so disconnected, I feel so empty.”

He helps them address these feelings by focusing on their mental health and even teaching them that dynamics in emotions are good and healthy. It ok to be sad or angry, just not for prolonged periods of time.

For more information on Salazar visit

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