Any parent would be proud to say that they have FIVE children who attended college, let alone Ivy League schools, and who went on to have prestigious careers in medicine, law, education and banking. But our distribution center employee of 10 years – Lucio P. – is prouder than most, because he had to overcome seemingly impossible odds to make this a reality for his children.
Lucio was born in Mexico and taken out of school by his grandfather when he was 6 years old to work in the fields on a farm. He never received any formal education, and at 18 years old, he and his wife traveled to the United States to seek a better life and career opportunities. Once in Texas, Lucio began working various jobs – as a truck driver and at a meat packing company, an airplane manufacturer and a tortilla factory. He worked seven days a week, and displayed an unbelievable work ethic. He and his wife had four children – Alejandro, Miguel, Elizabeth and Aracely. As he raised them, Lucio made it clear that they had every opportunity to create amazing, fulfilling lives for themselves. “I told my children – you BE somebody. Don’t let anything hold you back – just relax your mind and think about what you really want – and then take steps to make it happen!”
But he didn’t leave it all up to them. Lucio did everything in his power to set his children up for success – including moving them to the best high school in Fort Worth ISD after learning that many students graduating from there were being awarded scholarships. Lucio also knew that in order to give his kids a leg-up, he’d need the help of others. He chose to befriend people in his community that he viewed as successful – including a local politician and pharmacist who had attended Harvard University.
Lucio’s children were amazingly dedicated to their studies – his eldest son Alejandro was in the top of his class and read hundreds of books on his own each summer. He set his sights on going to Harvard University and received a full scholarship. He then went on to attend medical school in New York, and is currently a physician practicing in Maryland.
Lucio’s second son Miguel attended the University of Pennsylvania and began his career in banking, then followed a calling to travel all around the world working with the Southern Baptist Convention. Daughters Elizabeth and Aracely both received full scholarships to Brown University. Elizabeth earned her Master’s in education and is currently an elementary school teacher living in London. Aracely also received her Master’s degree, and works in business on the East Coast.
Lucio also has a stepson – Christian – who was born in Mexico. He was also at the top of his class in Fort Worth, and all of his step-siblings worked together to help him fill out his scholarship applications, resulting in a full ride at Princeton University. He’s in his first year there, and plans to go on to law school to become a corporate lawyer. Growing up he often helped Lucio at his landscaping business, and even though Lucio enjoyed having him there to assist, he always encouraged Christian to seek a college education so that he would have a world of career options available to him.
Lucio works full time at our distribution center, where he is celebrated by his colleagues for being a leader and teacher, with a matchless work ethic. When his shift ends, Lucio doesn’t leave immediately unless the job is done. The two days he isn’t working at The Container Store, he is running his landscaping business. Mike C. the Distribution Director said “Lucio sets the example in our distribution center every day. There are so many people that look up to him for his work ethic, his diligence, and his hard work. He’s really admired around here.”
Speaking of admiration, we know that his children feel the same – they are so thankful to their father for setting them up for such fulfilling and enriching lives. And the best part is that Lucio never expects anything in return. “I told my children I don’t want anything from them,” said Lucio. “I am happy just knowing that my kids are OK, working on their own, and don’t need me to provide for them. I’m so proud of them all.” Well, we could not be more proud to have Lucio on our team!