Skip to main content

Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Abraham Gomez interview, December 6, 2019: transcript






Interviewed by Elsa Lopez. Abraham Gomez is a College Navigator for the Nevada Treasurer's Office where he is responsible for providing and distributing information on post-secondary resources that may enable Nevadans to go to college. Gomez was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and grew up on the East Side near Desert Pines High School. He received an Associate of Arts from the College of Southern Nevada before obtaining a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno. After graduating he worked as a GEAR UP Ambassador for Nevada State College where he advised a cohort of 46 low-income students on the importance of continuing their education. He has volunteered with various organizations throughout Southern Nevada and continues to work to better his community and make education accessible to students everywhere.

Digital ID


Physical Identifier



Gomez, Abraham Interview, 2019 December 6. OH-03703. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


This material is made available to facilitate private study, scholarship, or research. It may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by UNLV. Users are responsible for determining whether permissions are necessary from rights owners for any intended use and for obtaining all required permissions. Acknowledgement of the UNLV University Libraries is requested. For more information, please see the UNLV Special Collections policies on reproduction and use ( or contact us at

Standardized Rights Statement

Digital Provenance

Original archival records created digitally





i AN INTERVIEW WITH ABRAHAM GOMEZ An Oral History Conducted by Elsa Lopez Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2018 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV – University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcribers: Kristin Hicks, Maribel Estrada Calderón, Nathalie Martinez, Rodrigo Vazquez, Elsa Lopez Editors and Project Assistants: Laurents Bañuelos-Benitez, Maribel Estrada Calderón, Monserrath Hernández, Elsa Lopez, Nathalie Martinez, Marcela Rodriquez-Campo, Rodrigo Vazquez iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader’s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iv PREFACE Abraham Gomez is a College Navigator for the Nevada Treasurer’s Office where he is responsible for providing and distributing information on post-secondary resources that may enable Nevadans to go to college. Gomez was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and grew up on the East Side near Desert Pines High School. Hard work and compassion — values instilled into him by his parents — have guided his both his work and his philosophy. A strong desire to help his community and the belief in the transformative power of education has led Gomez to pursue a career that may help any student who wants to go to college achieve that goal. Gomez is familiar with multiple institutions that compose the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). He received an Associate of Arts from the College of Southern Nevada before obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno. After graduating he worked as a GEAR UP Ambassador for Nevada State College where he advised a cohort of 46 low-income students on the importance of continuing their education. He has volunteered with various organizations throughout Southern Nevada and continues to work to better his community and make education accessible to students everywhere. v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Abraham Gomez December 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Elsa Lopez Preface………………………………………………………………………………………….iv Gomez talks about his Chicano and Mexican American identity and what it was like growing up by Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas’s East Side. He talks about his parents’ jobs, including his mom’s job with Clark County School District. He discusses his family history, including his parents’ migration story and reason for settling in Las Vegas………..………………………...1-3 Discusses his father’s family owned and operated restaurant and what it was like growing up in the restaurant. Recalls lessons taught to him by his parents that continue to impact and resonate with him, as well as what it was like to grow up in a family with all boys……………………4-7 Chronicles his education, beginning with Saint Christopher, a private Catholic school, which he attended from Kindergarten through eighth grade. Recalls the school’s predominantly Latino population and the contrast this presented when he attended Bishop Gorman for high school. He talks about his experience at Bishop Gorman, in particular the influence that the volunteer work on behalf of the school has continued to have. He remembers the most impactful teacher that he had throughout his primary and secondary education…………………………..……………….7-9 Discusses his plans after graduation. Talks about his experience at CSN and the encouragement to apply to UNR that he received from his supervisor while working for NSHE. Talks about Transferring to UNR where he majored in Communication Studies with a minor in History. Describes life after college and how he became an ambassador for the GEAR UP program at Nevada State College. ……………………………………………………………………...….9-15 Gomez talks about how his job at the Boys and Girls Club and his work at NSHE influenced his decision to work with students. He describes challenges high school students face when getting ready to apply for college and explains his role as a GEAR UP Ambassador. He describes some of the obstacles faced by his student cohorts and the importance of programs like GEAR UP in first generation low-income schools. Tells of more systemic problems that he has noticed within CCSD………………………………………………………………………………….…..….16-20 Explains the various services that NSC offers students in the GEAR UP program and discusses the organizations philosophy. Talks about his student cohort’s involvement with the Nevada Partnership of Homeless Youth (NPHY). Describes in more detail the resources that are available to GEAR UP students at NSC including the Writing Center and Career Srevices, as well as help for lower-income students.……… …………………………………………………………...21-25 vi Details his work as an Ambassador ad his work as a member of the Men of Color subcommittee at Nevada State College. Describes the mission behind the Men of Color subcommittee. He talks about seeing Malcolm X’s daughter speak at the Diversity Summit and the influence that Malcolm X has had in shaping his philosophy on education………………...………………………….26-30 Gomez describes what he has learned from the 46 students in his cohort. Gomez brings up one of his mentors, Michael Flores, and the influence that Michael Flores has had on him. He talks about the work he will be doing at the Treasurer’s Office, which includes going to schools throughout the state of Nevada to inform students and their parents about the various avenues available to any student who wants to go to college……………………………………………………………31-35 vii 1 Hello. The date is December sixth, 2019. My name is Elsa Lopez and I am here in the Oral History Research Center. I am joined today with… Claytee White. And with… Abraham Gomez. Abraham, can you please pronounce and spell out your full name? Yes. A-B-R-A-H-A-M. Gomez is G-O-M-E-Z. Thank you. Abraham, how do you identify? I would say as a Chicano and also a Mexican American. Both of my parents were born and raised in Mexico and came here when my mom was nine and my dad was seventeen. My mom and dad actually grew up not too far away in the same Mexican village, but they started dating when they were in California, in L.A. I would identify as a Chicano because both my parents were born and raised there, but I was born here not too far, actually, from UNLV. It was the Women’s hospital on…Maryland Parkway. I know it shut down some while ago, but that’s where I was born. Tell us a little bit more about your childhood and where you grew up. I grew up right down the street from Desert Pines. It was 3700 Hudson Bay Avenue. We lived there most of our lives. Our aunt and uncles lived right next to us, so it was always fun. I was really close to one of my cousins and we were around the same age, so it was always fun hanging out with not just your neighbor but your cousin. What I mostly remember about my childhood is probably family. We definitely hung out a lot with our neighbors. Everybody on our block we were incredibly close with. We’re still really good friends with people that lived five, six houses down. Me and my brothers still go to their weddings. We hang out with them on the weekends. 2 Even to the right of us a couple of houses down, we’re still close to those neighbors. I would say it was a great childhood. I’m the youngest of four, so I’m the baby of the group. I have two older brothers and one older sister. I saw a lot and learned a lot from them, but also got ridiculed a lot because I was the runt of the family. But my mom always loved me and she still babies me to this day. What did your parents do at that time? My mom was still working for Clark County School District. My father at the time, I want to say he was doing custom iron. My dad’s been a tradesman. When I was born we already had a Mexican restaurant on the Strip and it was across from where the Sahara is now—the SLS, but they just changed it back to the Sahara. I want to say he was doing custom iron, but right before that he actually was a chef and we had our own restaurant. This was around the time when property values were going up really high. Once their ten-year lease ended, the owner decided to sell the land. That is currently where the Lucky Dragon Casino sits. Then after that he started doing custom iron with my padrino or nino, godfather. My godfather had his own custom iron company. My dad really didn’t know a lot about custom ironwork, but he learned, and my mom was still a teacher’s assistant at the Clark County School District. I’m curious. Did your parents ever share their migration story with you, how they came here? Yes. My dad is very machismo. We don’t talk a lot about that. But I know that when we do talk about it, mentioned that he came over through Tijuana with a coyote. So, the coyote had helped them cross the border but then the coyotes left my dad, his brother and six other people. They were trapped in the mountains, when they were abandoned, then walked down and placed a call and were picked up and taken to LA. My mother came here because my grandfather was part of 3 the bracero program and worked in Woodland, California. So, he was able to petition for his family to come over and they did. When my mom and her family came they settled down in LA. Can you tell us about how they met? From what I heard they made at a baila, which is a dance, when she was nineteen. My dad does not like to dance, actually. He has a childhood friend that he’s grown up with and he was the only person he would let my mom dance with. My dad would actually be at the dances, but he didn’t want to dance. I know that’s where they met, was a dance. Then they got able to know each other and found out they were from pretty much the same villages down from each other in Mexico. They ended up both coming to L.A. and that’s when they just started dating. They had my oldest brother there in California, and he is the only one that wasn’t born in Las Vegas. Three of us were born here and one was born in Glendale, California. What made them decide to come to Vegas? That’s a good question. I think they wanted a new opportunity because they were living next to my grandmother back in the day and they actually have a similar setup when they got here; it was two houses that were conjoined and my grandma was living in one and they were living in the other. They had owned the house, but later sold it, but they decided to move to Las Vegas for opportunity. I know that my mother’s side has family here, so it probably made the move easier. When she moved here she knew the family was going to be here. I know that when they came here—I want to say they came here in ’86. But they haven’t left since. What part of the city did they settle in? We had been living right down the street from Desert Pines, which is—Pecos and Bonanza. That’s where we ended up living for a good portion of our life until I was ten. Then from there we actually moved to the east side, which we’re right next to Chaparral, which is Mountain Vista 4 and Flamingo. We’ve only had two houses our entire lives, which is amazing and awesome and I’m grateful for it. Tell us about how your father owned his own restaurant and what that was like for him and your family, too. He employed obviously our entire family. My oldest brother, who wasn’t born here, he was working there as a busser back in the day when he was eighteen. He would save all his money up and buy really cool shoes. I like shoes now and I think that’s the reason why. He had three of our uncles employed. My mom worked there. Two of my aunts worked there. My three uncles were cooks, but also did everything else, such as cleaning and waiting on tables. But it was really cool. From what I remember I still love horchata and I think the reason why I love horchata is because I grew up there and I used to drink it like water. The other thing I remember is anytime I was hungry when they would ask me what I wanted to eat, and to this day one of my favorite meals is chorizo con huevos. It doesn’t matter if it’s day, night, morning—morning preferably, but I could eat chorizo con huevos anytime, so I would always be ordering that. But it was fun. It was definitely fun. I was eight when it went away, but I remember the early years sitting at the restaurant booth and just eating the food and seeing everyone running around while I was still a kid. Did they make the chorizo con huevos any particular way? No. It’s just good. I prefer Mexican chorizo. There are two different kinds. Sometimes you’ll go and it’s not spicy, and if it’s not spicy I know it’s not authentic. I don’t know how to put it. It has to have a little kick to it and that’s where we get it. Actually, when I go to Case Don Juan or something, I’ll ask them, “IS the chorizo from Mexico?” And usually they say yes. I’m like, 5 okay, let’s go. Sometimes places don’t have and I’m like, I’ll get something else. But, yes, it has to be spicy, a little kick. Oh, that’s awesome. When your parents came over you said that they came because your mother’s family was here, right? Yes. At the restaurant was it your mother’s family that worked there, or did your father’s family follow after? I would say it was fifty-fifty. My dad has some family here, as well as my mother. Most of my dad’s family is mostly in Chicago. That’s where his grandma lives and a few of our uncles and most of our cousins. When he actually decided to build the restaurant out here, or to get it open, it was actually my dad’s side that was helping him, his nephews. My cousins on that side were actually the ones who were helping us whether it was being a waiter or a cook. So, yes. When did your mom start working at CCSD? She was a waitress at Boulder Station. From there she started working at CCSD. I know she is close to retiring because she tells us almost every other day that she’s ready to go. I think you get twenty-five years to hit it. She’s probably been in since 1995. Yes, 1995 orF she probably started at CCSD. I can’t wait to get her story. Your mom has done a lot of really important work. Is there something that your parents taught you that still sticks with you today? Absolutely. From my mom’s side, I think compassion and sympathy was the biggest thing I get from her. I can sympathize with almost anybody. It really doesn’t matter what’s going on, I can put myself in their shoes and get emotional with them and go through the emotions that they’re going through. When I was young when my mom had founded Milagros Escondidos, which is 6 hidden miracles, she would help families with disabilities. She would take me to the group meetings, and all the parents would come and they would bring their children. There was one child; I don’t know his disability, but he was in a wheelchair and his head was very enlarged. His chair would always have a little tilt. I can’t remember his name, but we became friends because we were around the same age. He ended up passing away and I remember going to the meeting and asking her, “Where is he?” Then she’s like, “He’s not here no more.” I still didn’t grasp death at eight. I really didn’t understand it. But me seeing her help people from a young one, I understood the value of helping others around me who needed it. It doesn’t mean if they’re homeless. It could mean different things. You can be mentally ill or homeless, but then there are disabilities. I think I learned that from a young age from my mom. From my dad we learned—and when I say we, I mean the brothers—we learned just hard work and ethic. I think any family that comes from an immigrant family knows the importance of hard work, and our dad has definitely instilled that in us. I mentioned when he lost the restaurant job, he didn’t take time off. He learned how to do custom ironwork, which I know he never knew how to do before. He tries to fix stuff around the house, but I can’t imagine him with a blowtorch or something like that, but he did it. From there he still works to this day. He’s a chef at Blue Ox Restaurant, which is very similar to PT’s. He still works and he just turned sixty-three. He is actually ready to collect his Social Security check. He and my mom are ready. My dad is ready to just kind of relax. But the thing is, once he retires he’s not the person that’s just going to be watching TV. He still runs around to this day. He just put Christmas lights up a couple of weeks ago, right after Thanksgiving, on his day off. He’s still going to be working hard up until his deathbed. I know that for sure. That’s what he has definitely instilled in not just his boys but our family. 7 What was it like growing up with all boys? It was hard, definitely. I got picked on, made fun of. I think now that I’m about to be thirty it made me a lot stronger. It would affect me when I was a teenager. The saying ‘sticks and stones,’ trust me, my brothers threw sticks and stones literally and figuratively when I was young. Now that I’m a bit older nothing really fazes me. I kind of keep to myself. I would say they definitely taught me toughness, but also I was able to see—both my brothers are great—I was able to see mistakes and things that they made and not do them as well. They were both really good role models, and to this day. Tell us a bit about your teen years and what it was like growing around that time. I went to a private Catholic school from kindergarten through eighth grade; it was called Saint Christopher’s. It’s near Jerry’s Nugget, across the street from J.D. Smith. No wonder it sounded familiar. There are three schools right there. I went K through eighth there. It was fun. Predominantly Latinos. I am still friends with a lot of people from middle school and we keep in touch. It was fun. I played basketball sixth, seventh and eighth grade, soccer. It was fun. We had a big van and all my brothers and sisters, we went to the same middle school, and some of us were around there at the same time. Probably when I was in third or fourth grade, my brother was in sixth, and my sister was in eighth. We would go to soccer games. One year my mom actually coached. She had to coach because there was no one else to coach. We had a big Eco van. I don’t know if you remember those. It was a 1992 Ford Eco-line van. You could probably fit twelve, fifteen people in there. Sometimes when kids had no ride, my mom would give them a ride and that van would be packed, like fourteen kids deep. I remember that mostly. 8 Then after that I went to Bishop Gorman as well. To this day it’s very unique because you can probably count on my two hands the number of Hispanic students there. I played football for a while. Just like any teenage boy, I got ridiculed. Everyone would get ridiculed with whatever their ethnicity is. We didn’t have that many Hawaiians on the team or Pacific Islanders, so they would make fun of them, but they would make fun of me as well. Like I said, when I was hanging out with my brothers...Did it affect me a little bit? Very little. But it also just slid off because I had to show that it didn’t faze me that much. Going to Bishop Gorman was a lot of fun. It’s incredibly expensive to go there, the tuition. To this day people ask me, what did you get from Bishop Gorman? I think the one thing I got from there is being able to give back. It’s a Catholic school as well and every year we had some form of a religion class and we always had to do service hours. Basically what service hours is, is volunteer hours and you go to wherever, what you want to do. I would see that at home obviously with my mother and then going to school. It’s always been instilled in me. To this day I still volunteer every Tuesday and Thursdays at Nevada Youth Network. I partake in Men of Color at Nevada State. I know giving back to your community is probably one of the best things you can do. Not only do you feel well doing it, but you’re helping other people who were probably in your shoes at some point. Bishop Gorman, when you were doing your service hours there, do you remember what places you went? I remember going to Matthew’s closet. It’s been a while ago. Yes, right. I’m trying to remember. How old were you? And this is high school. At Gorman I was fourteen to eighteen. 9 How about were there any teachers there that to this day you look back on and you think they made a really big impact? I would probably go to elementary school. There was our PE teacher; her name was Ms. Waukimier. I remember her pretty vividly. She was probably there K to eighth grade, but she was incredibly nice and she was always looking out for me. I just remember that because I was a really heavyset kid. I was a lot bigger when I was a kid, so I would get picked on, mostly for weight. But I would say from elementary school, definitely Ms. Waukimier. I had her on Facebook. I remember I was driving by Las Vegas High School. I was coming down from a friend’s house and she was in a car next to me. She still had the same car and I was close to twenty-one. I remember rolling the window down. She still remembered me. I was like, “Hey, Ms. Waukimier.” She was like, “How you doing, baby?” That’s what she would call me. I think I looked for her on Facebook. That’s who I definitely remember from elementary, slash, middle school. I’m curious. Did GEAR UP exist or does it exist in places like Bishop Gorman, or is it just in CCSD? Yes, it would definitely not exist in Bishop Gorman. It only exists in schools that are low-income and at-risk high schools. Some of the schools that it is currently in is Las Vegas High School, Desert Pines, Del Sol, Clark, and you’re probably heard of TRIO programs, right? Then they have some other schools that are very similar to it. But it definitely would not have existed at Gorman. I want to know what happened after you graduated. What were your plans once you were done? 10 My parents paid for my K through twelve schooling. When I was finishing at Gorman, I did not think I was going to go to college. I did not want to go. It was one of the last things on my mind. A lot of my friends were going to universities. I remember walking into our counselor’s office my senior year, probably halfway through, and I remember having a conversation with her about college. I wanted to apply places, and she pulled up my transcript. She said, “You’re not going to be able to go anywhere.” She is like, “You’re going to have to go to CSN.” Back then it was called CSN, I’m pretty sure. She’s like, “You’re going to have to go to CSN.” I remember thinking it was one of the worst things. I was like, uh, gut punch. My friends were going to UNR. At that time my oldest brother had graduated UNR already. I knew that I wanted to go there because we had gone to his graduation and first-time experience in snow. I was like, this place is so cool. I remember her telling me I couldn’t go. When she told me that I was like, well, I didn’t want to go to school. When that senior year was ending, my mom asked me what was I going to do, and I told her, “I don’t know.” She’s like, “You’re going to go to school, or you’re going to get a job.” She obviously wanted me to go to school, but I was like, should I go to work? I was like, no, I’m not ready to go to work yet. I went to CSN for three years. Halfway during those three years something clicked in me. To this day I’m not sure what it is. I was tired of getting C’s and D’s and just passing along. I kind of turned a plug on and I just started applying myself. When I was working, one of my first jobs ever, it was for NSHE. It was for a grant. My supervisor at the time asked me—If I was finishing up my associates—she asked me what was I going to do after, and I was like, “I don’t know.” She’s like, “Where do you want to go?” I still wanted to go to UNR. I said, “I want to go to UNR.” And she was like, 11 “Well, you need to apply.” I’m like, “They’re not going to accept me.” She’s like, “Well, I want you to apply.” Actually, during work hours, she made me apply. I paid the fee and everything. I never thought I was going to get in. A few weeks later during work I got an email that I got accepted. I remember I was super excited and happy. But I still didn’t think I was going to go. Once I figured out how I was going to pay for everything through grants and student loans, I finally realized I was going to go. But I went up there as a transfer student, I went up there at twenty-one. I went there as a junior, but I still lived in the dorms because I always wanted to experience a college experience. I knew if I would have attended UNLV, I would have stayed at my parents’ still because it was cost efficient and there was no way I was going to take out a student loan if I didn’t have to, but I wanted to go up to Reno. My brother had a huge impact on me just because of when I went up there and saw him. I went up there and I loved it. What did you major in? Communication studies and a minor in history. How did you choose those two? Every student changes their major. I changed mine quite a few. As soon as I started applying myself at CSN, I wanted to do journalism, so I did journalism for a little bit in Reno. Reno has a great program. I know that we have one more Pulitzer Prize Award than Stanford. I took that for probably half a semester, and then I was like, never mind. The beauty about going in there as a junior, you already had your prerequisites done, so you’re jumping right into the classes that you need to for your major. I think I took a journalism class, and I was like, this isn’t for me. 12 I always wanted to do marketing, so I thought of picking marketing or business marketing, but I’m not really good at math. Math is actually my weak point. If I went into that field I was going to have to do more math. Then it came down to communication studies. My mind has always thought that it still relates to the field, but it kind of comes with a different facet. I feel like the older you get, the more you look for how people think differently and how you can contribute, so that’s how I’ve always thought. I knew I was going to be applying marketing jobs whenever I did leave college, but I was able to sell myself on still having a communications degree, not a marketing degree. That’s why I picked that and I’m happy with that. I still have professors and buddies from my program. I chose history because it’s just something I love. I’m a huge history fan. The History Channel is probably my most-watched channel. Like anything war related, I’m always searching stuff up. The history one was a no-brainer for me. That was your passion there. Yes. How did your brother going to UNR help you prepare to be away from home? How it prepared me is I know that it could be done, which I know sounds weird. But besides him at that time, my other brother was still in high school and he actually went to University of Montana for a year to play football up there. But before that we all went to my other brother’s graduation and it kind of showed us that we were able to leave. The older you get, the more independent you want to become, I believe. My brother took the opportunity when he got out of high school to go up there. But I think just me seeing that Omar had done it just showed me that I was able to do it as well. Once I was able to apply myself at CSN and actually try to go to UNR 13 or go to university, I know it was feasible. If anybody was asking me why I was choosing UNR, probably 99 percent of the reason is because my brother did, and if not I never would have been exposed to that university. I still have plenty of friends and great memories from them, so I’ve got to thank him for that one. Tell us about life post-undergrad. I was at Reno from 2012 to 2014. When I left in 2014, I had walked but I had not graduated. I was two classes short. One of the classes was Math 120. I am an advocate—and I’m happy that I’m a GEAR UP Ambassador now because I advise forty-six students in my cohort that they need to finish their math as soon as possible. I was that kid who kept putting it off. I had failed Math 95 and Math 96 three times, freshman year at CSN, again. I know I failed it at CSN twice. Then when I went up to Reno as a transfer student, I took it again. I was taking seven courses and that was one of them. That course obviously doesn’t count; it’s satisfactory or unsatisfactory. I would have been on the dean’s list if it were not for that one class that was unsatisfactory. When I went up there, I had gotten six A’s, and I remember going up there and thinking “I’m going to go up there and I’m going to fail them”. I swear I thought I was going to fail out of UNR after the first semester, but I did very well. When I had left UNR in 2014, I still needed two more classes, and I actually took them here at UNLV. I took Math 120 here at UNLV and I finally was able to pass it. I sent my courses here back up to UNR just so I can graduate as a Wolf Pack. When I came back here, I was working at the Strip a little bit. I was a security guard at a Las Vegas nightclub and that was incredibly fun. You were on your feet all day, in the Las Vegas sun in the summer. I remember coming home and just passing out. Back then I didn’t think about it, but you’re in the sun for eight hours when it’s a hundred and, what, thirteen out. I remember 14 we had a hat and we would dunk our hat in the ice water every twenty, thirty minutes just to keep cool. But I know how it is to work a service industry job and it’s tough. It’s real tough. I don’t even think my back can put up with it now. But I worked there for a little bit. Then I worked for a startup software company from Germany. They did point-of-sale system, so POS systems. I worked there for about a year. That was one of my first real jobs after college. Then from there I was actually unemployed for a year. I remember that time. Besides my brothers and immediate family, I got made fun of a lot. I would say that that one really hurt because not being able to provide—and I was living with a partner at the time—not being able to provide, it hurts you especially after telling the story about how much my dad has worked. Once he loses something, he picks something else up. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, you just run with it to get a paycheck. I was unemployed for a year and it really hurt. I was sad. I was just down on myself. But during that time I was still finishing my last class here. I officially graduated early 2017. The spring of ’17 is when I transferred my last two classes over and I got that degree that summer in 2017. I found a job that same summer and I worked for TripAdvisor, which is a travel company, for a while, and I did that for a year and a half, close to two years. Then Nevada State College, a position became open and it was an emergency hire position. Even though it was a big pay cut, I was not happy where I was and I wanted to go back and work with students. The older I get the more I realize, I need to keep myself happy and I need to go to a place where I’m actually happy at work. The opportunity came back for me to go back and I jumped at it immediately. GEAR UP runs every six to seven years. 15 I went there as a leap of faith. Like I just said, I was unemployed for a while before I was working for TripAdvisor for a year and a half, so I didn’t want to do that. But I also knew that I did not want to work there and I wasn’t going to move up anywhere. The only way to move up within that company was if I left to San Francisco or Boston, and I wasn’t ready for that move. I took the opportunity at NSC as quickly as I could. I love