Jose Rodriguez is a recent Lanier High School graduate and the first in his family to attend college. Jose’s mother, Rebeca, worked two jobs to support him and his two older brothers. Like many families, she couldn’t afford back-to-school expenses like new school supplies.
To lend a helping hand, Communities in Schools – San Antonio (CIS-SA) partners with many companies, including CPS Energy, to donate school supplies to families. Jose says the generosity of CPS Energy’s team members, and others in the community, helps students like him focus on learning and achieving.
“I knew I could rely on Communities in Schools for those supplies,” said Jose. “Whenever I needed something for projects, they really helped me get those A’s.”
CIS-SA recently wrapped up its annual Stuff the Bus school supply drive. This year, our company supported the effort with a campaign called Stuff the Bucket. The inspiration comes from our linemen who use bucket trucks to keep safe, reliable power flowing through our community. We serve our community’s energy needs and our partnership with CIS is a powerful way to make a difference for students.
As One Team, CPS Energy employees collected more than $5,100 through a virtual donation drive and thousands of dollars’ worth of school supplies. CIS-SA will be sharing a total market value later this month.
For more than 15 years, our utility has been a proud partner of CIS-SA. Our partnership also includes support for the InspireU program, where our team members mentor high school students.
That’s how Jose met his mentor Trey Barlow, a Generation Research & Planning Manager. Trey previously volunteered with Boy Scouts of America before signing up for InspireU. He shared a good lesson for any mentor.
“I think it’s important to listen more than talk,” said Trey. “I enjoyed listening to his experiences about the disadvantages in his neighborhood, what life was like outside school and the pressures he was facing.”
Trey has offered lots of advice to Jose and helped him prepare for college. He was proud to see Jose graduate in the top 10 percent of his class.
“I was very excited about him becoming a first-generation graduate,” said Trey. “He is an amazing young man and represents everything good about this country.”
Jose is grateful for the mentoring Trey provided through the InspireU program. Now the teenager feels confident and ready to pursue a new goal of earning a degree in business administration at Texas A&M – San Antonio.
“They’ve all motivated me to go to college,” said Jose. “They know my story. I feel proud of myself to be the first in my family to go to college. Thank you to CPS Energy and Communities in Schools for their support. I feel very motivated to succeed!”