Over the past 42 years, I have supported many outstanding non-profit organizations and charities in an effort to give back to our wonderful Fort Worth community.
My focus has been on education. I attended public schools growing up in Nashville and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. My parents taught me that the secret to success is education and hard work. I believe that every child must be given the opportunity and resources to excel and achieve their full potential.
In 2004, I read about the Adopt-a-School program. I decided to work with the Fort Worth Independent School District and adopted the Rufino Mendoza Sr. Elementary School on the North Side.
Over the years I have supported the school in many ways. For example, two weeks ago I again sponsored the end-of-school luncheon for teachers and staff.
I have especially enjoyed working with the after-school running/walking club since our children need to be more active and I am a marathon runner. I have paid for students to run in 5K races and assisted the Cowtown Marathon’s amazing C.A.L.F. program which has provided them with race registrations, running shoes, and socks. I have walked and run with the kids and encouraged them to exercise. I sponsored the school’s (and the city’s) first-ever bike rodeo and located 25 bicycles and helmets that students got to keep.
Last week I attended Field Day and enjoyed seeing the children competing and having fun. The girls actually beat the boys in this tug-of-war contest.
I have spoken at every Career Day and encouraged the children to get a college degree and even a graduate school degree in medicine, law, computers, or business. I bring my college diploma and tell them how they could get one. A woman at my bank told me she remembered me speaking to her class and said I had helped inspire her to go to college.
During the Christmas holidays, I have given the students footballs and toys, sponsored parties, and adopted families as “Angel Tree” projects.
Friday, I will speak to the fifth-grade students and their parents at the step-up ceremony. It is so important that they attend college and I will again urge them to do so. To help make some of their dreams become realities, I have donated over $10,000 to Mendoza students through the local Mexican American College Education Fund. Some of these students are now working as nurses, businessmen and women, teachers, and in other valuable careers.
I have also donated books to the library, served as a judge in competitions, spoken about the importance of good nutrition, and tried to help out in any way possible.
Our schools and charities badly need community support, especially after the pandemic. I will continue to actively support the school and our community to try to make Fort Worth an even greater place to live.