By HELEN HERNANDEZ
A few Amarillo College students might know who the college president is, but how many can say the president knows them? Luis Gutierrez, a paralegal studies major, is one.
Gutierrez was on the second floor of the College Union Building when AC President Paul Matney walked by and said, ‘’Hey, Luis.’’ Matney knows Gutierrez through the Presidential Scholars. Gutierrez works two jobs and is a full-time student who is actively involved at AC.
“In high school I wasn’t really involved, but I wanted to change that in college,” he said.
Gutierrez, who at the time was only in the Presidential Scholars, decided to join other clubs after talking to Bruce Moseley, the paralegal adviser, who suggested that Gutierrez join the Student Government Association. He did, and since then he’s become involved in other organizations.
“Luis is a bright young man and goal-driven,” said Presidential Scholar Coordinator Judy Carter.
He is involved with the Presidential Scholars, the Blue Blazers and SGA, is vice president of the Legal Society, served on the financial aid committee and was named to Who’s Who in the spring.
During a debate on the Patriot Act sponsored by the Presidential Scholars, Gutierrez met criminal defense attorney Jeff Blackburn. He now works for him.
Gutierrez was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and came to Amarillo when he was 8 years old. He attended Humphrey Highland Elementary and has been overcoming social barriers since then.
His best friend, petroleum engineering major Laura Gonzalez, said, ‘’We’re a power team. We bring out the best of each other.’’ Gonzalez listed positive attributes she sees in Gutierrez:
‘’He motivates me, he’s humble and religious, he has the ability to keep control, he gets involved and he’s grown to recognize how to apply himself.’’
Gutierrez said he got his work ethic when he was 15 years old, cleaning at a truck repair shop.
‘’I did that because my mom wanted a diamond ring, and I wanted to surprise her for Christmas,” he said.
He began working for his own necessities and said he has learned to appreciate things differently than other people do.
He said he finds motivation through his family and friends.
Gutierrez said his mom is his inspiration because she works two jobs to get food on the table and serves as both mom and dad.
He said his dreams are to become an immigration attorney, to get closer to God and to buy his mom a house with cash.
‘’God put me here, and being involved and getting so many opportunities is a blessing,” he said.
Gutierrez said he wants to influence people like the people who have influenced him, such as Blackburn, Heather Atchley, Bruce Moseley, Amber Brookshire and Ellen Green.
“I want to take someone under my wing and change their life,” he said.