Today’s Class: February 2, 2018

Today’s guest was Neil Amper, Vice President at Capstone, a commercial real estate company.   Our host today was Lisanyis Gonzalez.


Lisanyis welcomes Neil Amper to the Hope Life Skills class


Lisanyis introduces Neil to the Life Skills class


Walter Jimenez welcomes Neil to today’s class following Lisanyis’s introduction. Walter has perfect networking techniques: eye contact, welcoming smile, a firm handshake and a genuine greeting – “good morning. My name is Walter. Thank you for coming to our class.”  Ayo Onajide (black coat) and Johnny Ruiz (red jacket) follow Walter to do the same.


Neil begins to share his amazing story with the class.

 “I grew up very fortunate” Neil said.  “My family was very rich. 

We had an 8,000 square foot home with servants who lived in a special wing of our home.  I went to private schools.   We had our own plane.  Went on beautiful vacations.  I ran one division of our family’s company.  By the time I was 28 year’s old, I was worth $10, million dollars.  Until one Sunday evening, when

my father called me to tell me our company was bankrupt. We were out of business. 

I no longer had a job.  And, I was no longer worth millions of dollars.”

Neil described the range of emotions he suddenly had to deal with.  From anger to doubt,

he wondered about his future and his wife and young children who depended on him.

Fortunately, Neil was married to a wonderful, supportive woman who believed in him.  Furthermore, Neil was raised by a father who made him work in all types of jobs since he was thirteen years old.  “My father raised me with a strong work ethic.  Despite being very wealthy, my father had me working in factories and steel mills at a very early age. He taught me the importance of hard work and how essential hard work was to life time success.”  Very shortly after his company closed, Neil started looking for a new job.    “It was hard finding a new job in the beginning.  I felt a lot of pressure; I had a family to support.  I applied for a lot of jobs but no one would hire me because they said I was too qualified.  It was frustrating.  Eventually, I got a job in a bank selling residential mortgages.”

Students repeatedly asked Neil how he was able to persevere and get through the dark times after his company closed.

Neil spoke about the close relationship and appreciation he has for his wife.


Neil speaks about the strength his wife exhibited after his company closed.

I have been very fortunate to have a great wife.  She is smart.  She is strong. 

Her commitment to me and our children

was never more apparent when my family’s company closed.  When I was making lots of money at the family business, my wife was able to stay home and raise our children.  When my company closed,

she said ‘we’ll be ok.  I’ll go back to school, get a teaching certificate and then get a job as a school teacher.  And you’ll get another job too, Neil. 

We’re going to be alright.’    And, we did.  She quickly got a teaching job and was supporting our family while I was trying to get someone to hire me.  It was a hard time.   Thanks to her and the lessons my dad taught me about hard work and perseverance, our family was ok again.   Now, I am not close to being as wealthy as I once was.  However, we have had a good life.  And, I will continue to do anything for my wife.  I am blessed.”

Neil spoke about the importance of mentors.

Most people go through difficult times in their life.  Mentors help you along the way.  Ask any successful person if they have a mentor.  Most will say ‘yes. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my mentor’s help.'”

Neil, of course, has had great mentors in his life.  The most important just happened to be his wife.


Students gather around Neil just before the end of today’s class for a networking opportunity.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *