Within moments of sitting down with Chris Pinto, it’s easy to see why he was voted Best Student Leader and Best Resident Adviser. With an easy smile and charisma galore, he’s one of the rare few capable of immediately putting a person at ease. Mere minutes into the interview, I am willing to follow the guy into Mordor, hobbit style. What must a day in the life of such a passionate and involved person look like? On a rare free day, Chris was kind enough to sit down with me to discuss his daily life and what keeps him going.
“I wake up everyday and make a cup of green tea in my math mug, because I’m a math major and I love being able to pursue something I’m passionate about,” Pinto said.
Chris starts every day with a cup of green tea and what he calls his “breakfast of champions”, a slice of toast with peanut butter on it. As is the case with most champions, Chris is a self-proclaimed peanut butter addict, consuming a minimum of 3-5 scoops per day. A note to aspiring leaders, crunchy peanut butter is the only way to go.
“Creamy is for quitters,” Pinto said.
Around 9 a.m, after devouring an entire jar of peanut butter, Chris heads to the MVP office to start going through emails and see what new opportunities await the students he strives to assist. He looks to connect aspiring students with volunteer opportunities in the community that will benefit not only the organization looking for volunteers, but the students themselves.
At 1 p.m, Chris likes to get out of the office to have lunch with friends and enjoy some personal time.
“If I don’t get out of the office, I stay there literally the entire day,” Pinto said.
After lunch, Chris attends his senior level classes. As someone whose work is never done, he makes an effort every semester to get to know his professors. Not only does he ask them how their class will help him get where he’s going, he lets them know what organizations he is involved in, something that he feels more students should do.
“They connect you with resources, maybe they have connections that you can utilize,” Pinto said.
After classes, Chris tries to return to the MVP office to continue working.
“Houston has a lot of needs, and I feel like part of me will always belong to Houston, so that inspires me to find as much opportunity as possible for students. That’s what I strive for, those Ah-ha moments with students,” Pinto said.
Because his work is never done, when Chris returns home everyday he makes sure that he helps the residents of his building in any way he can.
“It’s a little bit more than giving out free pizza and free stuff, we try to educate people,” Pinto said,
Working for MVP actually helps him find opportunities for the students he is an RA to. He does his best to set students up for success and help them find internships and externships.
Finally, after a long day assisting the students of the University of Houston, Chris brews another cup of green tea in his math mug, finishes his homework, and gets some sleep – only to wake up in the morning to help a whole new set of people.