It’s often thought that our past defines us. That who we are today is the result of the circumstances of what’s behind us, and what we will be in the future is created by our current environment. While it’s true that every decision, every action, and all of our surroundings will have an effect on our lives, a quick glance at Augustino Duminuco proves that our present situation only holds as much power over our future as we allow it to.
If you were to go through Augustino’s list of accomplishments, you would think you were looking at a man who’s spent a lifetime in charity work. From creating his own foundation, to building mentorship programs and organizing Christmas toy drives, this is a man who has poured his heart into helping others. But it wasn’t always like this.
If we were to go back a mere decade into the life of Augustino Duminuco, we wouldn’t see the generous philanthropist we see today. No, we would be visiting the man in prison, and watching him work through a sordid past filled with drugs, crime, and near death experiences. It was at a young age that Augustino found himself running, head first, down the path to destruction.
After multiple serious incidents and five years in prison, Augustino knew something had to change. He could let his current circumstances define the rest of his life, or he could take control of his own future, and use his situation as something to work from, rather than wallow in. He reached out for help and support, and found it in people who truly cared what happened to him. Augustino attributes a huge part of his recovery to the support he received from these people, and especially his mom and dad, who he saw as a strong and unified force in his life.
Grateful to be alive, and eager to share his experience with others, Augustino quickly realized that there were so many more people out there who were just like him. People who needed the same help and support he had received, but had no one to turn to. To Augustino, this was unacceptable, and he immediately got to work to be the type of help he had needed when he was in their shoes. He took a job in construction, soon ended up as a construction manager, and then the CEO of LRC Group. But his goal wasn’t to work in the trades, it was to use his job in construction to fund a foundation that could embody the spirit of the work he felt called to do: help others.
With this goal in mind, Augustino founded the Infinite Expansion Foundation in his hometown of Langley, British Columbia. He poured his energy into growing the foundation, and there is no doubt that he has made a serious impact on the surrounding community. Since its beginning in 2016, the foundation has served over 25,000 meals to those in need, and has launched multiple different programs to address other necessities as well. The “Haircuts for Hope” program focused on providing haircuts for those who simply couldn’t afford them.
The “Art Mentorship Program for At-Risk Youth” takes the angle of using art to reach the young people of the community. With a personal understanding of how easy it is for a young person to just go with the crowd – no matter what direction it is headed – Augustino’s program provides a safe environment for them to express themselves through various types of art. A recording studio is available for their use, free of charge, and mentors help those who take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about creative writing and other forms of art.
On top of the various programs and methods of outreach Augustino has personally brought to fruition, his foundation has also partnered with Ishtar Women’s Resource Society, an organization that helps shelter women and children who are fleeing from domestic violence. Along with this society, Augustino participates in a Christmas toy drive to ensure that every woman and child in their care receives presents at Christmas.
Augustino doesn’t just spearhead programs and organize foundations, though, he steps right into them and puts his own hands to work. And this, he feels, is when he can truly make a difference in individual lives. The people in Langley know him. They saw him growing up and know where he came from. This gives him the ability to speak to them from a perspective of true understanding and compassion.
“I know exactly what it’s like to be them,” he says, “I want to get them at least thinking about change. It’s hard to think of a different life when you’ve been there so long. All you think is, ‘where am I getting my drugs?’.”
And, for those receiving his help, there’s no doubt that seeing Augustino there today, handing out food and providing beds for those who have none, could start the wheels of change turning in minds that have long ago given up hope of a different life. Truly, everything Augustino Duminuco does revolves around this desire: to help create positive change in his community. Every cent that enters his foundation goes out of his foundation in some form of aid.
Put simply, Augustino just loves to inspire others to do good. And he lives a life that proves it, even down to his personal motto, which speaks to how he believes he should use his money to give back: “Learn, earn, return.”
With plans in the works for new methods of helping those around him, Augustino Duminuco is one to watch, not only as someone who is always finding new ways to be a blessing, but also as an inspiration to those who feel that there’s no way out of the pit in which they’ve found themselves.
Augustino is living proof that, rather than letting our circumstances be our prison, we can draw from our experiences and use them as a way to turn ourselves into something greater…something that can truly make a positive difference in the world around us.
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