Success Spotlight: Carlos Gonzalez
Another example of Shell Houston Open Dollars at work
Speaking with Carlos Gonzalez today, one would never guess he comes from humble beginnings. A successful compliance manager at a Houston investment firm, Carlos grew up on Houston’s east side attending public schools Felix Tijerina Elementary and Edison Middle School. His world changed when he began attending The Chinquapin School in 9th grade.
Chinquapin, one of the Shell Houston Open’s core charities, is a non-profit, college preparatory school, grades six through twelve, for economically disadvantaged youth from the Houston area. The 7th - 12th grade boys live on campus Monday through Friday, and the girls and 6th grade boys are transported daily.
Quid Pro Quo -- Something for Something -- is the Chinquapin motto and is lived daily as students give time and effort to the school in return for the opportunity to receive quality education in a caring, family-oriented environment.
As a student, Carlos recalls various chores students performed as part of giving back to the school -- from mowing the grass to sweeping and mopping classrooms and helping to prepare and serve meals – and how those skills would serve him later in life.
“It gave me a lot of discipline and helped me learn to prioritize. I found that when I got to college I was following a similar routine,” he said.
He also credits Chinquapin with giving him the courage to broaden the scope of colleges he was considering attending. With financial aid from Santa Clara University and a partial scholarship from Chinquapin, he went on to attend and graduate from Santa Clara University in California. When he returned to Houston, Chinquapin helped him find employment at AIM Investments where he worked for several years. He has since moved on to another Houston investment firm.
Today, Carlos continues the school’s motto of “Quid Pro Quo” by being a mentor to Chinquapin students. Recently, he helped organize a college tour and took students to Austin, Texas where they visited the campuses of St. Edwards University and The University of Texas at Austin.
“Chinquapin provides students with hope that they might not otherwise have, and lets them know they can follow their dreams and pursue their career,” he said. “They gave me an education, and now I’m giving something back to the community. It’s good for students to see someone who went down a similar path.”