The four charter mentors of the PHS Educational Foundation are Joe Greenslade, Risa Payne, Rix Quinn, and Bill West. Interestingly all four are 1966 graduates of Paschal. They each have unique backgrounds and reasons why they want to be mentors to the under-served students of Paschal which they each touch on below.
In addition to sharing the same class at Paschal, these mentors, more importantly, share a passion for working with young people to see that they get all of the opportunities to be successful in our society as their more fortunate classmates. The mentors assist students in career/major determination, writing college essays, applying to colleges, and applying for financial aid. The mentors also contribute to and seek financial support from our community to provide things such as netbooks to all seniors to make sure they have the tools they need to successfully investigate careers, apply to colleges, and locate financial aid (see the tab listing the materials we have provided in recent years).
It is a well documented fact that those who have a passion and pursue it vigorously live longer. We feel that serving as a PHS Educational Foundation mentor is one version of the Fountain of Youth.
We are eager to sign up more people from our community who love young people, want to give back to society in a meaningful way, and have a flexible schedule that allows for the investment of one to 10 hours per week (this varies throughout the year). If that appeals to you, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information without obligation.
Joe Greenslade graduated from Paschal in 1966 and graduated from Texas A&M in 1970 with a degree in business management. He soon became an entrepreneur starting several small companies. He sold his last business in 2007 to become the Director of Engineering Technology for the Industrial Fasteners Institute to represent the interests of the North American mechanical fastener (bolts, nuts, and screws) manufacturers internationally.
Joe started doing volunteer work for Paschal as a scholarship fund raiser in 2008. In early 2010 he learned of the Paschal AVID program. He immediately volunteered as a mentor to help low socio-economic students apply to college and for financial aid.
Joe says, "When a student at Paschal I was not college bound. By a miracle I was granted a scholarship to Texas A&M. After college I vowed to my mentor that I would facilitate the same kind of opportunities to other deserving young people in the future. My involvement with the AVID students at Paschal is one of my ways of fulfilling that vow. Seeing the thirst and determination of these young people to improve their circumstances through higher education and helping them fulfill their dreams is the most rewarding thing I have ever done."
Risa Payne graduated from Paschal in 1966. Her bachelor's degree in integrated social sciences and education, received in 1970, and her M.Ed., received in 1973, were both granted by the University of North Texas.
Risa taught students the discipline of social studies for twenty-five years at various Fort Worth ISD secondary schools. She then was selected to serve as the inaugural academic coordinator at Western Hills High School. In the summer of 1999, Risa became the FWISD Secondary Coordinator for Advanced Academic Services. Through this department, secondary schools were introduced to the national AVID program and encouraged to apply to become AVID sites. Risa was named the first AVID district director for FWISD in 2001. By the time she retired in August, 2009, AVID was offered at all eligible middle and high schools in Fort Worth.
A PHS Alumni Association message in 2010 asking for mentors to assist the school's first group of AVID seniors caught Risa's attention. She immediately volunteered to help this deserving group of first generation college-bound students. Risa says, "College was an expectation for me from birth. College is a dream for AVID students. AVID is a program that I can testify makes the dream a possibility, and there is nothing more stirring than helping someone move that possibility to reality. Being an AVID mentor does more than let me give back; it lets me give forward."
Rix Quinn is a Paschal alum. He holds a B.A. in journalism from TCU, and a M.A. from California State University. After working as a copywriter for two retail chains, he became an editor for a national trade magazine publishing company in the late 1970's.
In the 1990's he started writing business biographies for both the media and individual companies, and is still doing that today. In addition, he serves as a journalism consultant to school districts and education service centers in Texas.
Rix began volunteering at Paschal while his daughter attended and his wife served on the PTA. After her graduation in 2003, he joined the board of the Paschal Alumni Association. His work on the PTA scholarship committee brought him to work with the AVID students.
Rix says, "I value the education and values I learned by going to Paschal feeder schools -- Bluebonnet and McLean -- and to Paschal itself. I was a lackluster student until being convinced by Winifred Elliott, my Paschal English teacher, that communicating effectively was a critical skill. Helping the talented young people in the AVID program -- and seeing them develop their writing skills -- has been one of the highlights of my life."
Bill West graduated from Paschal HS in 1966 and Texas Christian University in 1970. He completed his masters from TCU in 1974. He retired after 35 years from the Tarrant County Juvenile Services. He was adjunct facility at UTA and TCU in the Criminal Justice Departments from 2006 - 2010. Now, Bill is an Associate in the TCU Center for Community Involvement & Service-Learning. Recently, he was selected to serve on the Committee "Purple Partnership" PHS/TCU collaborative contract.
His volunteer efforts have included several non-profit board memberships and projects. His past major passion has been volunteering for the Multicultural Alliance summer camp Anytown Camp CommUNITY as an Adult Advisor and donor since 1991. The MCA goal is to promote an inclusive community, eliminate bias, bigotry, and oppression and encourage understanding and social justice through shared experiences and educational programming.
Bill started doing volunteer/mentoring at Paschal in early 2010. He learned of the Paschal AVID program and the TCU sponsored GO Center at Paschal staffed by TCU Community Scholars. His passion for mentoring youth comes from his expertise and knowledge concerning "risk factors" for involvement in the Juvenile Justice and Criminal Justice systems. Number one risk factor: Lack of socialization into the mainstream US culture due to lack of formal education, ie "dropouts". Number two risk factor: Lack of parental supervision, family involvement.
Bill says "My involvement with the AVID students at Paschal is one of my ways of paying back the community and 'paying it forward' to an underrepresented and underserved population of first generation to attend college. The students were selected through AP class selection with good character. They have been inspiring to work with and deserving of our support to make the jump to college."
Sharon Gabert was born in Fort Worth, attending both parochial and public schools before graduating with honors from Paschal High School in 1965. Among her academic honors, she was recognized for achievements in Mathematics all three years; she was awarded a medal in Latin. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Texas at Austin, where she subsequently completed her legal education.
Licensed to practice law in 1972, she returned to Fort Worth, where she has practiced law ever since. A former board member of many legal associations and a candidate for judicial office twice, she has practiced law in a wide variety of fields, including personal injury, civil, probate, juvenile, family and criminal law. She is licensed to practice in the State of Texas courts, the Northern District of Texas, and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Today her practice focuses on guardianship, probate and elder law.
She participates in many philanthropic organizations and has been a volunteer at legal clinics and is an active supporter of many community endeavors. She credits her success in life to the inspiration and guidance of the excellent teachers she encountered at Paschal. As an active participant in politics, she hopes to inspire the students to participate fully in civic life. As an attorney, she is especially cognizant of the importance of communication in every aspect of life, and she hopes to help AVID students attain strong communication skills that will benefit them in college and their careers.
Peter Hinojosa graduated from Paschal High School in 1971 and went on to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a Master of Arts degree in Urban Affairs both from the University of Texas at Arlington.
After graduation from UTA, "Pete" began his professional career when he was hired as a probation officer for the Tarrant County Community Supervision and Corrections Department. In 1979, Pete and five other probation officers were selected to begin "community corrections" in Tarrant County. He was promoted to various positions and last served as Supervisor of the Specialized Caseload Unit. In 1991, Pete joined the Tarrant County District Clerk's Office and served as a Division Manager for the next 15 years; he retired in 2006 after 30 years of service to Tarrant County.
Pete has been an active community leader and volunteer and has served as board president for The Association for Retarded Citizens of Tarrant County, Latino Peace Officers Association, Bridge Emergency Youth Services, Mental Health Association of Tarrant County, and Guardianship Services Inc. He also served as a "Big Brother" for Big Brothers/Sisters of Tarrant County for over 20 years, The Tarrant County Youth Collaboration, The United Way of Metropolitan Tarrant County, and is a graduate of Leadership Fort Worth, where he was selected as class representative to LeaderKids Fort Worth. Pete was recruited to serve the PHS Educational Foundation/AVID Program in October 2012 by longtime friend, Bill West. Pete states, "I hope to utilize the skills I have acquired in the training and mentoring of others to complement the AVID Program and in encouraging AVID students to seek more formal education beyond their graduation from PHS."
Debra (DD) Holmes, PhD, CPA graduated from Paschal HS in 1969. She also received a BBA from UT Arlington. DD completed her graduate work at Texas Tech University, receiving an MS in Accounting in 1978 and a PhD in Accounting in 1981. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Texas and serves on the board of the Fort Worth Chapter of CPAs and the Texas Society of CPAs. She is a published author on accounting topics.
Her professional career included teaching at Texas Tech University, Bradley University, and TCU. DD was a senior auditor at Price Waterhouse (PWC). She worked for Thomson Reuters for 25 years developing information and software for the tax and accounting market. She was in charge of their sales and marketing efforts for the professional market. "The right career choice can open many door for our students."
She currently works as a CASA (court appointed special advocate) to support abused and neglected children.
DD says: "I am so honored to be involved with Paschal AVID students. Education is the key to opportunity and career flexibility. I love helping young people set life and career goals. It made all the difference in my life, my path, and my success in professional environments. I look forward to helping you achieve your goals and happiness!"
Janet Ellis is an impassioned speaker, life coach and training consultant specializing in personal resilience, emotional and spiritual wellness, leadership and organizational renewal for teens and adults. She facilitates a number of processes that guide teens and adults to become aware, acknowledge and claim their purpose in life along with 8 basic steps that will give them the power to follow their dreams. Janet is a co-creator of the Teen Field Guide book "The Path 4U" by Laurie Beth Jones.
She has inspired many groups and individuals to make positive changes in their lives. Through her company, Janet's Planets of Empowerment, she designs and delivers inspirational workshops, seminars and keynote presentations. Janet has been trained and licensed by Laurie Beth Jones, to work as speaker, presenter, and facilitator. Janet has extensive group leadership & counseling training from the Texas Association of Drug & Alcohol Counselors. She has training and experience in work style assessments, communication skills, behavioral intervention techniques and time management skill building. She has served hundreds of individuals and organizations in business, non-profit and faith-based sectors.
Lidia Bowers was born in Mexico City and has lived in the US for over 15 years. She has a degree in Economics and an MBA in Corporate Finance. She has worked as a bilingual teacher and has held several management positions in various industrial firms. She has four children in elementary and middle school and works for Lockheed Martin. She volunteers at PHS Education Foundation and other organizations.
Being a native Spanish speaker she is very helpful in communicating with many of the parents of the AVID students to make them feel comfortable and to make sure they clearly understand the requirements for their children.
Tim Stevens is a native of Houston. He graduated from Lamar High School, Rice University in 1958 and Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine in 1962. He had residency training at Vanderbilt University Hospital and cardiology training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. His medical career included being Director of the Austin Program of Internal Medicine Education (1975-1992) and Director of the Medicine Clinic at John Peter Smith Hospital (1992-2000) during the time that the neighborhood clinics were developed. He has had faculty appointments at several medical schools. While in Austin he was on the editorial board of the Journal of the Travis County Medical Society.
His wife Sylvia, a retired art educator, and Tim are enthusiastic advocates of advancement through education. They support endowed scholarship programs at Rice University, Texas A&M, and the Bishop Sam Hulsey Chair of Episcopal Studies at TCU’s Brite Divinity School. They are active members of Fort Worth’s St. Christopher Episcopal Church.
Tim says, “I love being a mentor in Paschal’s AVID Program. I am honored to be part of the dedicated and talented mentor group that Joe Greenslade has assembled. The program offers wonderful opportunities for students to become the first members of their families to attend college, and strengthens our Fort Worth community. Bring on those essays!”