Steven Michael Quezada is proud of his New Mexican roots.
After playing Agent Steven Gomez on AMC’s critically acclaimed drama “Breaking Bad,” a cult favorite filmed in his hometown of Albuquerque, N.M., Quezada has been able to get a glimpse of Hollywood while never being far from home.
But now that the TV show is coming to an end after six seasons, Quezada is looking forward to making a shift in his career.
The 49-year-old actor is running unopposed for a position on the Albuquerque school board on Feb. 5.
In an interview with Fox News Latino, Quezada said his decision to run for the school board position was all about taking action.
“I saw there was a need for change and a need for us to evaluate what we’re doing,” he said. "For me, it’s not politics it’s helping kids.”
His family has lived in New Mexico for generations. He said he was able to succeed despite being a product of the broken Albuquerque public school system.
With a 40 percent dropout rate among all students, and 60 percent among Latinos, one of Quezada’s main goals is to help kids in “el barrio” understand the importance of education.
“We have to figure out what’s going on here,” Quezada said. “I don’t want any kids to feel like they’ve slipped through the cracks.”
Albuquerque Public School Executive Director Monica Armenta told Fox News Latino that school board members are looking forward to Quezada joining the board. The filing deadline has passed, so no one else can run for the seat.
"We're excited," Armenta said. “Anytime you have someone people are familiar with [take on a role like this it] means more of the public will be educated on the issues.”
A father of four, Quezada said he is a firm believer that education is the foundation of everything.
With a bachelor's in theatre art from Eastern New Mexico University, Quezada said he hopes he can help more students in his hometown experience the same success he achieved.
“We have to remind people how important arts are," he said. "People just don’t see it.”
Quezada has volunteered at local schools since 1987. For most of his professional life, he said, he has been both an actor and advocate.
Now that his children are in the school system, he said he is more deeply connected than ever to try and improve the public school system in Albuquerque.
“Albuquerque is my home. I want my kids and all of our children to be able to go to any public or charter school and receive and excellent education,” Quezada said in a press release announcing his bid for school board.
As Quezada says goodbye to his “Breaking Bad” family, with filming set to end in March just before his school board post would begin, the Mexican-American is left with a bittersweet mix of emotions.
He said the show was a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. But he looks forward to moving on.
His next step?
“Help more children.”
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