Charles Cavazos is the data analyst at IDRA. Charles is from San Antonio and came to IDRA in 1983 after graduating from Alamo Heights High School and Trinity University, where he received a B.A. in English. He has run the annual IDRA attrition study analysis every year since 1990 and has compiled the evaluation statistics for the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program since its inception. He also assists in the production of publications as a proofreader (including this one). And he is one who IDRA staff call on when they have problems with technology.
Charles was among those tens of thousands of Americans who donated blood for the first time on September 12, 2001, and remains a faithful platelet donor to this day. His most recent donation was last month. And while he has never suffered a broken bone or a laceration that required stitches, he has been bitten by a rattlesnake. Charles is the godfather of his one-year-old grandniece.
As a data analyst, Charles will most often be found working with numbers. But he fills his spare time with words. Charles is an avid reader and commits himself to reading the equivalent of 40 400-page books every year. He concentrates on literature, philosophy and history. He maintains a “to-be-read pile” that is impossibly long and never seems to get any smaller, as he often adds to it. Among the books Charles has read this year are, Wolf Hall, The Third Rumpole Omnibus, Rousseau’s Confessions, and the Iliad. Oh yes, the Iliad – it was the sixth different translation he has read at least once (and it won’t be the last).
His formal education, while strong, left him unaware of the inequities in public education. Working at IDRA has opened his eyes to the unfair difficulties that most school children, and their families, confront. Charles reads as a means to continue his own education, gaining not only knowledge, but also tolerance and understanding. He has faith that, in the aggregate, reading produces a better self. A good education engenders a desire to learn more – an ethos that Charles wants to live in public schools.
[©2016, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the August 2016 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]