Google Analytics Tracking Code

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ben's Hood

With Ben Gomez '17 at an SGA meeting
I met local Central Catholic graduate, Ben Gomez, at an EZ's restaurant (branch since closed) four years ago, just prior to his attending Trinity University. We hugged. I don't know why, or who initiated it, but I think it was me. He just looked like a sweet, funny, goofy, hugger. We were both there because my daughter -- and his little sister -- are friends. I knew Ben would be coming to Trinity, and I was genuinely excited to meet him. 

For some reason (maybe because I know his parents and wanted to give the illusion to Ben that I was watching him), I started snapping pictures of Ben every time I saw him. I'm not sure he ever asked why, or if I knew why, or if I ever told him why. Oddly, he never questioned it, though I had some explaining to do with my wife, recently, when she was scrolling through my photos. It became clear early on that, like the movie, Boyhood, I would do real-time chronicling of Ben Gomez for his four years at Trinity University. And this post would be the result.

I didn't know how this project would turn out, but now I can see that he was the perfect subject. Ben Gomez has been a star at Trinity. He has been involved in the following groups: Tiger TV, KRTU 91.7, Student Program Board, Student Government Association, Trinity Distinguished Representatives, Ambassadors, and the Omega Phi fraternity. For his efforts, Ben was recognized as an Emerging Student Leader in 2015 and won a Presidential Excellence Award in 2017, both honors as part of the annual Student Leadership Awards. More than that, though, everybody loves Ben. He is always in a good mood, has a can-do attitude, and is a strong student.

Two of Ben's most transformative experiences were studying abroad and meeting his girlfriend Andrea. They met in their first semester in November, 2013. Ben, ever laid-back, says they don't remember how they actually met, but reports they went to a Sigma Crush Date Party, and have been together ever since. Maybe they spontaneously hugged. Additionally, they studied abroad together in Prague, and were actually visiting Paris during the terrorist attacks there. It was a surreal, eye-opening experience for them.

Ben wasn't even going to look at Trinity, but his mom, Lizette, an alumna made a last-ditch effort to have him visit campus for a Trinity 360 Admissions program the spring of his high school senior year. He had been set on TCU or SMU, but when he came to campus he immediately connected with faculty and staff and was awed by the Tiger TV and KRTU 91.7 FM facilities, and the opportunities they offered. He received a private tour and fell in love with Trinity. 

Ben has parlayed his passion for entertainment by designing his own major, Entertainment Business, in addition to his Business major in Marketing and Management. He combined studies across Business, Psychology, Drama, Communication, and Entrepreneurship to forge a unique academic path. Outside the classroom, was able to work with national talent agents when planning various concerts for the Student Programming Board and KRTU 91.7 FM. Through these endeavors, Ben was able to network and eventually land a job with United Talent Agency (UTA) in Beverly Hills. Starting September, Ben will begin work at UTA as an Agent Trainee in concerts, comedy, film, and literary areas. Until then, Ben will spend the summer traveling to various music festivals, such as Bonaroo, as a Field Operations Contractor for Front Gate tickets.

Ben believes he landed these positions because he had access "to everything" at Trinity. This included planning major and smaller concerts and working with radio station events on campus. Ben is most proud of bringing T-Pain and Cherub to campus. Cherub performed at a new spring concert event and Ben had to pitch it to his old friends in student government. They never had a chance. 

When I started to chronicle Ben's experience here, I thought I would see an Obama-esque physical transformation with at least SOME aging. His face, his expression, his hair, and his weight haven't changed a bit. Neither has Ben. He is hard-pressed to say how he is different, aside from the many opportunities he seized here. See for yourself: Check out the slideshow I've included.

While we love to promote how our students Discover, Grow, and Become, sometimes they land here pretty well developed. That was Ben Gomez. He leaves Trinity, very much the same kid I met at EZ's four years ago.And Trinity has embraced him.

Slideshow production credit Megan Kruse.

No comments: