May’s Hero of the Month
What initially interested you in becoming a member of the CHILDREN AT RISK (C@R) family?
I was actually at a Houston Rockets game and bumped into Shelda Magistri (a C@R Board member). I visited with her, Dr. Santos, and Dr. Sanborn in their box at the Toyota Center. Shelda saw me at work in the hall the following morning and suggested that I attend an upcoming Board meeting and participate. After attending, I didn’t need much more persuasion and decided to actively engage and provide support on the Golf Tournament committee.
What is your favorite memory with CHILDREN AT RISK?
My favorite memory so far has been the excitement of the first year I attended the Golf Tournament and the live auction. I was stunned by the number of attendees, the keynote speaker, and how much fun everyone had the event. From that moment on, it has been exciting every year to see the progression of success from the prior year.
What are your community activities or hobbies, Greg?
I am actively engaged in several programs tied to supporting local universities, including engineering outreach programs at both Prairie View A&M University and Texas A&M University, in addition to the University of Houston PAC. I have also been a volunteer for the Street Olympics program for a number of years. Likewise, I have been volunteering for a host of political campaigns, literacy organizations and other programs designed to support at-risk and college bound students. In addition to enjoying a variety of sports, including basketball, football, baseball, golf and tennis, I enjoy fishing and hunting.
What has been your greatest accomplishment in your work or life as it relates to children?
I used to say my greatest accomplishment was fundraising and supporting youth sporting events. However, these days it is actually assisting students in getting into and helping them matriculate through college and into the workforce. I particularly enjoy seeing the changes inner-city youth are having as they go to college and come back and contribute to the community.
What CHILDREN AT RISK issue area are you most passionate about and why?
I am particularly interested in and passionate about after school programs and funding issues related to education. The private sector needs to work in concert with government to provide more meaningful and fulfilling after school activities, particularly in the inner-city to develop tomorrow’s workforce and leadership. I believe those programs will lead to a better standard of living and will increase the future competitiveness of the Houston area with other major American cities, in addition to worldwide cities. As we develop more enlightened and educated youth, it will in turn lead to better prepared and more technically oriented students going into STEM-related degree programs, allowing America to continue to innovate and expand its economy. This can only happen with more enrichment programs and increased spending on education and after school programs.
When you were a child, what did you dream you would be when you grew up?
I dreamed I would have a pro basketball career, hold a political office, or maybe even be president. I figured I would be a scientist or lawyer.
What is one reason someone should give their time, effort, and support to children?
The fulfillment of seeing the sweat equity input result in a future leader of tomorrow and the satisfaction of knowing that students have a chance to improve their daily lives.
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