A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


There’s always hope, even in the dark

Meet Elva Salcido – a lioness who patrols the sidelines protecting her athletes
Nico Padilla
Elva Salcido talking during an interview about her life in a classroom.

Mt. SAC athletic trainer, Elva Salcido, discovered she had breast cancer at a young age.

After a workout, Salcido felt sore and was doing a muscle release when she felt a marble-sized lump near her left breast.

Her intuition told her to get it checked out. When she got the positive cancer diagnosis, her life completely slowed down.

“It forced me to focus on myself and what I truly needed,” Salcido said. “It challenged me in a positive way. It challenged me to look at how I cope with stress and communicate when I need help … it taught me a lot about myself and developed positive coping mechanisms.”

Salcido commented on reaching her second month of remission while dealing with her fight with cancer. “It was a journey I needed to have,”  Salcido reflected. “My life was going a hundred thousand miles per hour.”

She turned a nightmare situation into a positive one by realigning her mindset about the situation and overcoming the challenges ahead of her. Most importantly, she now knows how to better care for her physical and mental health.

Throughout her time doing radiation treatment, she would still head to the trainers right after and work with athletes. This is truly exemplary of the type of person Salcido is and her positive attitude despite the challenges she was facing at the time.

Salcido has been at Mt. SAC for eight years now. She was first hired as a part-time trainer while she was also working at Walnut High School as an athletic trainer and sports medicine teacher.

“Mt. SAC is one of those jobs where when you hear about it you’re like, ‘oh no one is going to leave Mt. SAC,’ because it’s one of those jobs that everybody covets … I got to learn from some of the elite,” Salcido said when talking about first getting hired.

This is Salcido’s first job as an athletic trainer at a college. She said that she takes pride in being at Mt. SAC and feels very lucky to have gotten in at the time she did.

She is the trainer for

  • Men’s and Women’s Cross-country
  • Women’s Golf
  • Men’s and Women’s Soccer
  • Men’s Wrestling
  • Men’s and Women’s Track and Field
  • Medical Director of Mt. SAC Athletic Special Events


Salcido was born and raised in a low-income part of El Monte where she faced a lot of adversities growing up due to her parents working constantly.

Looking back, Salcido realized she had to grow up fast, but didn’t realize it until she moved to Glendora. She reminisced about playing sports all the time to get out of the house and have her friends become the family she grew up with.

She remembers the culture shock of having no cars in the student parking lot in her hometown, a stark difference to the BMWs and raised trucks in the student lot in Glendora, where she moved for her last two years of high school.

At the time, she thought it was the teacher’s lot because the students at her old school weren’t able to afford cars of that nature.

Elva Salcido posing for a picture (Nico Padilla)

She’s grateful for her experiences in life and thinks that they help her work with student-athletes who come from every walk of life.

“You can’t get frustrated with kids when they haven’t eaten in a couple of days; you can’t get frustrated when they can’t sleep because they have to go to work or they have to help out their family … I have to remind myself; to take a step back and remember there’s a bigger picture than the workouts they’re having out there,” Salcido said while talking about working with some of the student-athletes.

“I like that part of it, I’m not going to work with just pros. I want to work with people who want to make themselves better. Mostly everybody is here because they want to make themselves better and they want to do something more for their life. Having that versatile experience in my youth has made me privy to that, that’s who I want to be around,” said Salcido reflecting on her time seeing those from similar backgrounds to her in her care.

The path to becoming an athletic director recently underwent some changes. “It’s now a two-year master’s program [to become an athletic trainer],” head athletic trainer Alexandria Lacayo said when asked about how long it takes to become an athletic trainer.

Salcido and Lacayo are both Cal State Fullerton alumni and described how the journey to becoming an athletic trainer has gotten longer since they graduated. Lacayo described how the first four years consist of studying a prerequisite such as a kinesiology degree and then applying to an accredited program.

From there, you go to a two-year program where you take classes along with doing internships. Then in the last semester of schooling you take a board exam almost comparable to the exams lawyers take when graduating from law school.

Lacayo works alongside Salcido as one of Mt. SAC’s head athletic trainers. She calls back to when she first came here as a head athletic trainer being taken under Salcido’s wing, although Salcido was still only a part-time trainer at the time.

“She made me feel very comfortable, very accepted, and just very personable.” Lacayo said, “Over the past six years I’ve been here, she has become a professional, becoming a head trainer as well as taking over as the director for special events.”

The two Titan alumni are very close and are staple figures in the sports community here at Mt. SAC.

Salcido is a figurehead of the sports community at Mt. SAC and never stops doing what she loves.

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About the Contributor
Niko Padilla, Staff Reporter
Niko Padilla is a Staff Reporter.

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