When Rick Schriever looks back on his years as a student at South Shaver Elementary, Southmore Intermediate and Sam Rayburn High School, he says he fondly recalls the impact that his teachers and mentors made on his life.
"They inspired me to want to go out into the world and make a difference," he said.
Schriever has done just that. The 1973 Sam Rayburn graduate was instrumental in helping to establish Albemarle Corporation's longtime partnership of providing mentors and resources to the Pasadena schools. It is a relationship that is still going strong today.
It is because of his efforts of constantly reaching out and going above expectations to help young people that Schriever was named Pasadena Independent School District's Distinguished Alumnus. He was formally presented the award at a reception in his honor at the district's Administration Building recently.
Shortly after Schriever began work in the Human Resources Department at Albemarle in 1995, the company charged him with an important assignment - implementing the company's Responsible Care program. The focus of the program encouraged Albemarle employees to become involved in programs and causes that would benefit the community. He knew immediately where the company could focus their efforts - the students of the Pasadena schools.
Jackson Intermediate became Albemarle's first Partner in Education. Schriever and hundreds of mentors have provided guidance and support to Jackson students over the years. In addition, they have provided resources for many of the school's needs.
DeeAnn Powell, who was then a peer facilitator at Jackson Intermediate and now an associate superintendent for the district, recalls when she first met Schriever during the 1995 school year. She stressed the need for adult mentors to help the students with their studies.
"He asked me how they could help," Powell said. "In a short amount of time, he had recruited mentors from Albemarle that were spending time with the students on a regular basis, helping them in math, science and many other subjects. They also participated in science fairs, career days and Junior Achievement activities. Whatever we needed, all we had to do is ask, and Albemarle would come through for us."
Pasadena ISD associate superintendent and former Jackson assistant principal Troy McCarley said he has always admired Schriever's dedication to helping others.
"Rick Schriever is one of the most humble persons I have ever met. He never wanted any of the focus on himself - his focus was always on what they could do for the students."
Schriever and other Albemarle employees have served at South Shaver Elementary and Kruse Elementary as reading mentors for the HOSTS program and Pen Pals program. Albemarle also led the way in establishing a mentor program at Pasadena High School - which is in its second year. Schriever is also a board member for the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Communities in Schools.
While his colleagues say Schriever is a modest person who lets others shine in the spotlight, his community involvement stands out. Last year, he was chosen as a recipient of the Texas Education Agency's Heroes for Children Award.
In accepting the award, Schriever was quick to shift the spotlight toward others.
"I'm very appreciative of this honor," he said. "However, great things are never accomplished alone - I really want to thank all of our employees for their involvement in these partnerships over the years. They are also true heroes who commit themselves to making a difference."