Joe Cerda and Francisco Valdez grew up in Mexico, where their schools had no windows or doors and teachers taught where to find them.
Neither of them wanted to come to America to do more than work hard.
But their often underrated jobs as caretakers in Midway Independent School District, which pay on average $ 12 to $ 14 an hour, have given them more than they could ever have asked for, they said.
Their positions have given them the unexpected ability to make a difference in a child's life.
Now two of these kids are realizing their impact on this year's showcase of the stars in May, an event that allowed top-50 seniors from GPA to be honored in honor of their favorite mentors.
Neither Avi Patel nor Christiana Kaul could wait until May to show their admiration for the two men.
The students had to ask them to be their guests the night fi
Patel and Kaul have each surprised them in recent weeks in a unique way to show their appreciation ̵
"We never had anything and no life, and when I came to this country, I have nothing left," said Cerda. "We just tried to fight to work and eat something, maybe I can be too excited for that because I never had anything, I'm from poor people … For me right now, I'm really happy I am glad that I not only went through this life, but simply passed. "
Cerda, head of the elementary division in Spégleville, has been with Midway ISD for 18 years. He has known Kaul through the school's PALS and Panther Kids programs for two years and often runs past the halls in Kaul while she attends and attends elementary school students during lunch.
When Kaul visited March 20, she greeted Cerda or "Mr Joe," with a biscuit cake and big balloons to thank him for his daily encouragement and warm hugs. Although he is not a teacher, he has taught her valuable lessons throughout her life, she said.
"I have not met anyone who works as hard as Mr. Joe, and he makes it the happiest heart of all time," said Kaul. "You would think it was a hard task to get the feces from the gym clean, but he comes in smiling. He does it for us, and he is so kind and understanding. Too surprised, much to say, Cerda went to his office and pulled out a framed, handwritten letter that Kaul had given him a year ago. The Influence He Had on Their Lives
"It was very kind. For me, that's the best pay we can get, "Cerda said." It does not matter how much money you put into a gift, for me it's the best. "
But with little acts of compassion Best known to Cerda, Kaul said, Cerda was honored with the district's Extra Mile Award in October for his early arrival and his delay, to ensure that his school is ready for staff and students to memorize their students' names and one He never takes his birthday away
He even takes the time to sing the birthday song together, they said.
"It does not matter what position you are. You can be a leader anywhere, wherever you are, teaching others wherever you are, "said Kaul." I can do that, and as a student, I can be a role model for my own teachers. My Joe is just one example for everyone. To see how he thrives where he is, that's the other hour he taught me, you can thrive where you are.
Patel's surprise was a bit more complicated, he said, finding a human sized box was not easy, and Valdez not knowing that Patel had anything to do was even more of a feat.  Valdez, who used to work in the retail industry and was once part of a national managerial association, has been in the district since 2014, but this year is his first time as a custodian at Midway High School, he said, and throughout the year he and Patel feeling like father and son, he said.
"We set up the box under one of the staircases, wrapping it in wrapping paper with me in it with a balloon, a noise maker, and a mango cheesecake, that's his favorite," said Patel.
An employee called Valdez over to the stairwell and pretended to ask him why there was a large, object-like box in the hallway. Then, as Valdez stood confused and tried to find an answer, Patel broke through the box.
For Patel, Valdez is his hero, he said.
"It was really cute and really nice, it does not matter how high you get into a job, you can be manager, deputy manager and vice president or president of a company," said Valdez. "I am working as a custodian for the first time, it is my lowest work I've done in my entire life in this country, and it's the luckiest thing I'll ever do."
Valdez often greets Patel with a smile on his lunch table, Patel said. The two often exchange stories, but Valdez's encouragement for Patel to pursue his goal of becoming a lawyer makes the biggest difference for him, Patel said. He often tells Patel to keep his feet firmly in the ground while Patel continues to strive to be the best man, Valdez said.
"What I learned most is what Francisco went through, and his story is truly amazing," said Patel. "Throughout his journey and his life, he has always managed to look to the positive side, there are no disadvantages for him, the bright side is always out there, something that I believe is really important in life that Francisco really emphasized for me no matter how nervous I am about college or how scared I am to move to Austin. "
A variety of teachers, counselors, principals, and other adults have significant influences on Kaul and Patel said Suzi Pagel, who coordinates the Showcase of Stars and works as director of corporate development for the Midway ISD Education Foundation. Www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…27&Itemid=47 Seniors said they should recognize their role models outside the classroom, and Patel and Kaul were not single, who nominated the two guards for the exhibition,
Cerda and Valdez are in front of the community on 22 The first 50 seniors of high school and their mentors
"To think that you two gentlemen have this kind of stature in their Having reached heads is so impressive for me, "said Pagel. "I know that the things you do on a daily basis are so important to these children."