Today we’d like to introduce you to Riochi Giles.
Riochi, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When I was in high school, I started The Junior Mentor League which I helped middle schooler and high schoolers with their homework and dealt with the daily stresses of school life. By the time I finished undergrad, I had housed and taken care of three runaways and/or abandoned kids. Throughout college, I always found time to spend with at-risk youth in my free time after school and on the weekends. We would spend that time talking about issues, practicing life skills like shopping, cooking, chores, and doing fun activities. Because I lived, worked and went to school in South Houston, I found that I was helping more at-risk youth in the Third Ward and Sunnyside area of Houston.
After graduating college, I moved to NY, struggled for a year then I got my first gig working on the trading floor of Citigroup as a Derivatives Consultant. I worked at Citigroup for 2 years then I was accepted to Law School in Michigan. Still searching for purpose in life, I took off to Michigan. Barely completing the first year of law school, dealing with family issues and not being focused, I still went on to complete my Summer Internship with a judge back here in Houston. After the Summer, I struggled with the decision whether to go back or stay in Houston with my family since it seemed everything was ok now that I was back. Guilt kept me in Houston.
So, 2007, I finally moved back home, landed a job at Merrill Lynch, went on to Lehman Brothers/Barclays. While at Lehman, I decided to continue with the MBA part of my previous JD/MBA program in Michigan. Finished with my Masters in Finance and Accounting in 2011. After the Financial Crisis, I went on to work in O&G for 10 years.
In 2009, I started a Financial Services partnership with a college friend preparing taxes for low-income families which we are now expanding into a Full Business Consulting Firm
In 2012, I started to get back into the community and started my LLC, Mission I’AmPossible. At the time, my goal was to help at-risk young girls transition to adulthood and provide them with the necessary resources to be self-sufficient individuals of society. Unfortunately, due to lack of resources, it was very slow to take off but I stuck with it and still did what I could around Houston and the surrounding areas, working with youth with disabilities.
In 2017, I started my non-profit, The RM Society. Thursday, March 8, 2018, I left Oil and Gas for good. Here we are!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has definitely been a struggle. I have felt like I am alone on this journey from the very beginning. My family is there for support but that’s it. When it is your vision, its hard to find people that match that passion. Hard finding good honest people that want to help people. Also, people do not want to help you along your journey, even though they have done it and were successful at it, even the ones that failed at it will not share.
Having to find the resources on my own was not that much of a challenge but I can definitely see how it could be discouraging when wanting to find a business. i.e. business credit, business certification, etc.
Please tell us about The RM Society.
Mission, History & Programing
I have spent years in the direct service field, facilitating the transitions from middle school to high school and high school to college/technical schools by connecting students to college and community resources. I’ve established successful out-of-school curriculums that create opportunities for youth to realize their greatest potential, and I have seen the inequities that face our high-need, low-income youth. Without proper support, these youth, especially those with disabilities, fall through the cracks. Our youth need mentors, vocational training, and proper support with life-planning.
The RM Society was born in response to the additional support needed within the community. I founded The RM Society in 2017 with the support of community stakeholders. We provide life skills support, pre-employment transition services, vocational adjustment training, and other employment services. The majority of our participants are youth, ages 6 – 22, of which many have disabilities and/or the first in their family to have college aspirations. It is our mission, as agents of change, to remove obstacles and motivate at-risk youth and or individuals with disabilities to live their best lives.
Through a scaffolding of support including life skills training, GED and educational planning, pre-employment transition services and workshops, vocational adjustment training, resume and job search, financial literacy education, and housing assistance, The RM Society helps our participants develop strategies and tools to maintain a safe, stable and independent living. Service provided:
– Life Skills
– Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS)
– Vocational Adjustment Training (VAT)
– In-depth Employment Services
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
When I convinced my parents to take in a young girl the same age as myself, 13 years old, we thought we were doing something by having her spend the night all the time and leaving little clothes behind every time, LOL. She was an at-risk teen, single-parent home and drug addict mother. little did I know that one experience would ignite a fire in my belly that could never be extinguished. My childhood came alive, we were 2 peas in a pod.
- Website: www.TheRMSociety.org
- Phone: 2815364882
- Email: info@TheRMSociety.org
- Instagram: @RiochiGiles
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RiochiMGiles/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheRMSociety/
- Twitter: @TheRMSociety