Helping Vulnerable Children Reach Their Maximum Potential
Meet Annette Rodriguez, President/CEO of The Children’s Shelter, a woman with passion for education and children’s and women’s issues—a woman of wonder in San Antonio. At a young age, she knew she wanted to work with children. “I am a firm believer that education is often the only vehicle out of poverty for many of our inner city children.” Annette has presented compassion in her work—helping vulnerable children reach their maximum potential. She joined The Children’s Shelter in 1997 and became President/CEO in 2011.
Don’t be afraid to take risks—life’s biggest lessons come from failed projects.
Annette was born and raised in San Antonio. She has been married for thirteen years, with no children. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Our Lady of The Lake, a Master of Science in School Psychology from Our Lady of The Lake, and an Executive MBA from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Annette told us one of her secrets to success: “Don’t be afraid to take risks—life’s biggest lessons come from failed projects.”
Running a nonprofit is a multi-faceted job. Annette’s day at The Children’s Shelter consists of board meetings, communication with donors about funding programs, and agency and community meetings. Annette works to remove obstacles that prevent children from identifying their inner talents and gifts. She shared another success secret: “Stay true to yourself—align your work and decisions with your values.”
Her courageous acts in the community are of utmost importance, because they revolve around the children and families the agency serves. Her greatest accomplishment, she claims, is having the honor to be the CEO. Next in her career, she would like to start mentoring young female professionals as they seek to become leaders in their professions and communities.
We asked who she admires and why. Annette admires Hilary Clinton for her tenacity, determination, and fearlessness. Even if she is the only woman in the room, she does not shy away from sharing her thoughts and position. “I think it’s important to be at the table and share your voice—especially when no one else looks like you.” Annette makes valid differences in matters of shelter, treatment, housing (abused, abandoned, or neglected children), education, counseling, and support.
Her final secret to success: “Do the right thing by others, and don’t take yourself too seriously.”
On weekends and after work, Annette enjoys jogging. She said that it helps her think clearly about the issues she is facing. Also, some of her best ideas have been born during her routine jogs.
Then comes our final question, “What is on your nightstand, Annette?”
“Typically two books at once—one for fun and escape, the other for thought, provocation, and learning. For fun, I’m currently reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series. For thought, I just finished Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates.”