It was early in the morning on August 25, 1997, and Abel Herrero was about to start his first day of work as a lawyer. As he strode on to the elevator that would take him up to his office, he wasn’t thinking about the bright future awaiting him. He was thinking about where he had come from.
After all, he was the son of a single mom who had struggled to raise him and his brother with little education or help. Over the years, she often worked several jobs to eke out a living and put food on the table for her boys. Her love for her family and strong work ethic helped the family through tough times while living in the projects.
During the times they spent together, she repeatedly urged her sons to work hard and do the right thing. Despite the odds against them, the boys succeeded. Abel became the valedictorian of his class, earned a degree at Texas A&M University, and a law degree at the University of Texas. His brother served with the U.S. Air Force in Desert Storm, with the U.S. Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and today is a Corpus Christi police officer and U.S. Army Reservist.
Abel thought about all of those things during the ride, but one thought overrode all the others. You see, one of his mother’s many jobs was as the operator of the very elevator carrying him up to his office and his future.
And that made him remember one other thing she always told him: “As we go up, we never leave anyone behind.”