Like a lot of us, at eighteen years old, I thought I had it all figured out. Having found a book on real estate principles at a garage sale, I was ready to dive right in after graduating high school. My mother, however, had other ideas. She encouraged me to attend college and learn to put my talents to use helping others. And, well, you have to listen to momma.
I initially leaned towards a major in engineering, but having a broad array of interests, I wasn’t dead set on anything until speaking to the head of the English department. He explained to me the wide reach of the English program, and how that field of study helps you learn to analyze any kind of information—even contract analysis for law school. This attracted me. I wanted that caliber of communication. Later on, it would serve me well in contracts, negotiations, and working with real estate clients. But right out of college, I had a different calling.
After graduating from Humboldt State University, I became an English teacher. For the first four years, I worked in a community school classroom with twenty of the most hardened kids in town. It was my goal to help them, to identify with their struggles, and to be a good mentor. It wasn’t easy. Oftentimes, the kids in that school were nearly homeless. Their lives were very difficult, and they simply weren’t happy. As I spent time with these students, I started to see something I could do.