José dropped out of school at the age of 15. He went
to Mexico to live with his grandmother, but there was nothing for him to do there and no work.
When he returned to Houston, he worked with his uncle as a roofer. Although the pay was good; the hours were long, the work hard, and the heat unbearable. His uncle encouraged him to go back to school.
Because José had been out of school for a few years, most schools directed him to a GED program. Yet José wanted a high school diploma.
Then a friend told him about AAMA’s Sanchez Charter School. At Sanchez he found the support he needed to catch up and get his education back on track. Today he is a senior and a member of the National Honor Society.
When José graduates from Sanchez in June, he also will have 15 hours of college credit. His plan is to complete his Associate’s Degree in chemical process technology, which will give him the certification he needs to work in a refinery.
But José’s dream is bigger – he wants to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in engineering so he can get an even better job. Then, he wants to give back to his uncle by setting him up in an auto repair shop so he can quit the roofing business too!
Your year-end gift today will help us:
  • Educate young people like José who need at second chance at school.
  • Teach English to adults so they can enter the workforce.
  • Help people of all ages find the support they need to resist drugs, overcome addictions, and make positive choices for their lives.
Become an AAMA Difference Maker today with your gift of $100, $500, $1,000 or more.

Jose, pictured upper left, and the 2010-2011 Avanza leadership class.
Through this program, Sanchez Charter School students connected one-on-one with successful adult mentors and developed skills in leadership, trust, teamwork, and communication. Avanza students also experienced Houston beyond their neighborhood, explored possibilities for the future, and realized their inner strengths.