PEAK Mentoring: Impact that Grows with the Years
A decade after graduation, and transplanted all the way to Texas, PEAK mentor Maurice Jelks is still helping alum Chris Tiner reach his potential, one opportunity at a time. The pair reconnected after, coincidentally, they both moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area a few years after Chris had graduated from Holy Trinity.
Chris credits the guidance of his mentor with inspiring him to go into the financial services industry. Despite deciding not to finish his college degree due to financial concerns, Chris has recently taken a position as Customer Relationship Advocate at Fidelity Investments. He is now working toward his certification as a stock broker. "Without the growth I experienced while in PEAK, I don't know if I would have been able to handle all that I have been through," said Chris Tiner, PEAK scholar and Holy Trinity Alum Class of ‘11. From being constantly boxed in by his strict father to losing everything he owned in a house fire, Chris is a shining example of undying perseverance.
"[My father] wouldn't even allow me to have a cell phone," recalled Chris, reflecting on how challenging it was to connect with his PEAK mentor, Maurice. In order for Chris to speak to and build a relationship with his PEAK mentor, he would first have to receive permission from his father, who would call his mentor for him. “I really needed a good, long-lasting relationship, and PEAK provided that in the form of my mentor,” said Chris. This relationship with his PEAK mentor has influenced him greatly and lasted far beyond high school. After graduating from Holy Trinity, Chris moved to Kansas to study at the University of Kansas. While in school, Chris met a young lady named Capri. The two immediately hit it off and soon fell in love. During his first year of college, Chris struggled to pay his tuition and didn't have enough money to purchase the books he needed for class. He would have to ask his friends to borrow their books — not a reliable way to get prepared for class. At the end of the school year, Chris and Capri were married. Chris decided that the best thing for his new family would be for him to withdraw from school and get a job. Wanting a fresh start, the young couple packed up everything they owned and moved to Dallas, TX. Things quickly began to fall into place, and Chris decided to reach out to his old high school mentor, Maurice. Chris discovered that his mentor was also living in the Dallas area, only thirty minutes away! The two began spending time together once again and became support systems for each other in their new city. Quickly, conversations with his mentor inspired Chris to pursue a career in financial services. "I was inspired by my mentor's ability to provide for his twin sons and to save for their future," said Chris. "I wanted to learn how to do that — to invest and set money aside." Chris has continued to persevere through unexpected hurdles: on September 15, 2018, Chris and his family lost everything in a house fire. Chris recalled the story saying, "I woke up like normal. Left the house at 6:30 am, like normal. Took my son to daycare and me and my wife went to work. Around 7:05 am we found out that their entire home had burned down." Chris and Capri were forced to start over completely. They moved in with his sister and began the process of trying to rebuild their life. The insurance company fought Chris and his wife tooth and nail for months before finally giving them the money they owed. After a lot of prayer and faith, Chris and his wife were able to purchase a new home, which they moved into on February 25 of this year. "Though I wouldn't wish it on anyone, we have learned a lot through rebuilding — about ourselves and about each other," said Chris. In reflecting on his relationship with his mentor, Chris is extremely grateful. "The only way I can describe it is unique," he said. "We talk at least one or two times each month. It is amazing to have this bond after 10 plus years of knowing someone. He came to my son's first birthday party last year — not everyone gets that invite."