Tristan Love

Tristan Love

Assistant Principal

Houston Independent School District

Houston, TX USA

Whatever you do is gonna be ten times harder than for the next person, but because of what you went through, you’ll be ten times more capable.


By Roadtrip Nation

Tristan Love


My road in life took a while to figure out.
Grew up in crime- and poverty-stricken neighborhoods in Houston, TX.
Says his green eyes and lighter complexion made him an outsider and a target in these neighborhoods, which forced him to resort to violence to protect himself.
Joined a gang at the age of 12—says he was the kid that got into trouble outside of school, but excelled in school: “My conduct wasn’t always on point, but my grades were.”
He accepted a majority-to-minority transfer that sent him to a predominantly white high school where he felt his chances to succeed were better, but found he still had to defend himself.
At the end of his first year there, he started a gang riot and his transfer was revoked—he moved across Houston to live with his father to “reinvent himself,” but his gang troubles followed him.
After a rival gang burned down his house, he thought he’d have to drop out of school to help his family financially—a nonprofit organization stepped in with aid so that he could stay in school.
He and his friend ended up earning full-ride scholarships to debate at Wiley College—there they joined the second generation of the infamous debate team, “The Great Debaters.”
After graduation, he worked with Teach for America and is now one of Houston Independent School District’s youngest assistant principals, helping other at-risk students succeed in school and beyond.
Keep following my journey


Assistant Principal

I am a former gang member turned teacher and passionate advocate for education.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Teaching / Mentoring

Day to Day

Everyday is different and a challenge in their own unique ways. I go to a lot of meetings with teachers, administrators, students, and parents. I'm always trying to innovate and think of new ways to reach my students utilizing the lessons learned from my own experiences.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Find a mentor that understands you and can help you achieve your goals. Don't always focus on the big name colleges, sometimes the small ones can give you the most return on your investment.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

Biology/Biological Sciences, General


The Noise I Shed

From Parents:

"You can't go to your dream school because it's too expensive, you have to take the scholarship and go to the free school. "

Challenges I Overcame

Gangs / Violence
Death and Loss
Single Parent

Interviewed By

Beating the Odds

Beating the Odds

Overcoming barriers as a first-generation college student