Success Spotlight: Kris Stockberger
Another example of Shell Houston Open Dollars at work
Boys and Girls Harbor
Kris Stockberger is a lawyer at a prominent Houston law firm, who resides in northwest Houston with his wife Terry. A committee member of the West Houston Chamber of Commerce and a High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Friends board member, Stockberger keeps a busy schedule.
At first glance, he appears to have a typical Texan’s life, but when he was growing up, his life was anything but typical.
Kris’s mom was a single, teenage mother. Her education was halted because of her pregnancy, and in order to take care of her newborn, she took whatever job she could find. Over the years, it became nearly impossible for her to care for Kris while holding down a job. He spent a lot of time in daycare centers and relatives’ and friends’ houses while his mom was at work. “I felt like I was a burden to my mom because she had to work so hard to support me but never could find enough time for me,” Kris said.
In order to have a better quality of life, Kris was placed into the Boys & Girls Harbor’s program when he was five. The Boys & Girls Harbor believes that children grow up best when raised as members of loving families. When, through no fault of their own, children become victims of abuse and neglect at home, the Boys & Girls Harbor is there to help. The program is not designed to replace the parents but instead to provide a warm, caring, and structured environment that will help kids grow into productive, self-confident adults. In effort to aid the programs that the Boys & Girls Harbor offers, the Shell Houston Open has donated part of its proceeds since 1974.
“Because I was part of the Boys & Girls Harbor, I got to have a childhood instead of being a hardship to my mom’s life. I was one of many kids in a huge family, and my life was a lot better than it could have been if I was still with my mother,” Kris said.
Boys & Girls Harbor kids do all the things that other kids do. They attend public school in La Porte, where they participate in a variety of extracurricular activities. Like most kids, they complain about having too much homework, but every year a substantial number of the Harbor kids make the A-B Honor Roll. The organization’s campus offers ample space for playing fields and recreational activities, as well as a working farm and an orchard.
While in the program, Kris, like all other kids, had a list of chores to do in order to pull his weight around the campus. “I would mop the dining hall and clean the dishes. I also picked up pecans in the orchard and helped clean the farm area,” he said. “I learned the value and comfort of being organized and having a plan. My mom didn’t have time to organize my life, but the Harbor taught me how to be organized, how to be a part of a team and how to accomplish things through structure and planning.”
When he was 11, Kris returned home and eventually took up residence with his grandparents. He entered the Houston School for the Performing and Visual Arts as a violinist. Upon high school graduation, he enrolled at the University of Texas for college and again later for law school. To this day, he still contributes to the Boys & Girls harbor as a board member.
“I know from experience the value of the Boys & Girls Harbor and the potential of the kids who go there. They showed me how to be the best I can be,” said Kris.