Entrepreneur provides opportunities for students
For as long as he's been an entrepreneur, Spring resident Wade Martinez has made it a priority to help students raise money for college.
The first student he helped was himself. He used the money he made cutting yards to fund his education at Southwestern University in Georgetown.
Since then, he has been helping college bound students build their own futures through his company, CBS Services Inc. at 9312 Louetta.
"It would say it makes it more worthwhile," said Martinez, 39. "If you can do something that excites you and makes you feel proud, that's a good thing."
CBS, an acronym for College Bound Students, now comprises Smarter Sprinklers, Blue Point Pools, Signature Landscaping, CBS Lawn Care and Smarter Lighting.
Martinez' career in lawn services began in the late 1980s, while he was a student at Cy-Fair High School.
"I played baseball, and a guy on the team was mowing grass with some success," Martinez said. "So I got a few friends together, and we made some flyers."
By the time he earned his diploma in 1990, Martinez' yard business was strong enough to support his tuition. He continued the work while attending Southwestern.
"I was the first in my family to go to college," he said. "Mowing lawns made it possible."
Martinez' goal at the time was a career in accounting, but his yard business was so successful he couldn't bear to give it up after graduation.
"I had a dream we could make it bigger," said Martinez.
He also saw the business' potential to give other students the same kinds of opportunities it had provided for him.
"This was a way to be an entrepreneur and help kids at the same time."
Initially, Martinez helped students by providing them with jobs.
In recent years, he started offering college students internships that provide opportunities to earn scholarships and wages, build career-related experiences and benefit from the mentorship of someone who has faced similar challenges.
Martinez tries to give the students the kind of advice he would have appreciated during his college years.
He often recommends books, including Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, and pays interns $150 every time they complete one of the selections on his list.
"I didn't get a hold of them until I was in my 20s," Martinez said.
He also makes a point, whenever possible, of giving interns projects that tie into their career interests. Students who complete the projects qualify for scholarships.
And because she's also interested in a minor in editing, Martinez has asked her to edit a book he's writing.
"Wade's scholarship program and focus on college-bound students has certainly made a difference in my life," said Lyman, who is preparing to begin her second year of college. "The scholarship he offers will help me pay my college tuition and buy my books so I can get my education and move myself forward toward the time when I can also give back to the community.
"I have had the opportunity to labor with my mind as well as with my hands, and that is meaningful to me, personally, because I'm developing a skill on the job."
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