Nayib Morán’s story of how he made his way to Chinquapin is familiar: It was 2003, and he was a student at Briscoe Elementary in Houston’s East End. Patrick Lohan, a longtime Chinquapin teacher (of advanced Spanish and Texas history, not to mention soccer coach and lawnmower extraordinaire), made a short presentation about this hard-to-pronounce college prep school. Nayib was intrigued by the entire concept: a boarding school that would prepare him for college. He was keen to try something away from el barrio that would open doors to a new world. That year, Nayib was the sole student Chinquapin accepted from his elementary school.
Even before Lohan’s presentation, Nayib says his family knew about Chinquapin. His father had heard about the school by listening to the Rolando Becera radio show on 1010 AM. This trusted source for news comforted Nayib’s parents, who supported his effort to give this college-prep boarding school a go.
Nayib’s first impressions of the campus were that it was peaceful and it created time to focus on academics, communication, and building relationships. Students from different parts of the Houston area worked together to find commonality. He was immediately hooked on the school’s Quid Pro Quo ethos of taking responsibility for the campus in return for a great education.
Adjusting to campus life meant following a daily routine, which he says helped him reach his college goal. He was encouraged to take on leadership roles and hold himself and others accountable. From the get-go, Nayib says that Chinquapin taught him about life. From the daily morning dorm checks (assuring his dorm was neat and tidy) to daily chores, Nayib quickly learned to lead by the example [senior and dorm captain] Donald Johnson (Chinquapin, ‘04) set for the group. Don created a schedule to keep students on task. The structure and peer leadership propelled Nayib’s success that first year and throughout his Chinquapin experience.
Adjusting to academics was tough, but Nayib stressed that Chinquapin faculty took the time to get to know and assist each student so they would succeed. For Nayib, whose first language is not English, language arts and English were challenging. His teachers worked closely with Nayib early on, so by high school, he excelled.
Chinquapin offered Nayib paths to demonstrate his strengths. He played soccer in middle and high school and played and coached baseball with fellow Burr, Felipe Guevara (‘08). Nayib served on Chinquapin’s Student Leadership Committee (SLC) during his junior year and wrote for the school newspaper through high school.
During the summer of his junior year, Nayib traveled to Poland with World Learning. Chinquapin opened the door to a new world. Indeed, his world expanded beyond el barrio, even beyond Chinquapin’s campus, to possibilities yet to be discovered.
When it came to selecting a college, Nayib knew he wanted to go out of state and to a school with great athletic programs where he could study communications. Villanova University offered what he was seeking, as it reached the Final Four in 2008. Stepping onto its lovely campus harkened back to Nayib’s first days at Chinquapin. Yet the transition from Chinquapin to college was much easier this time. His Chinquapin education and his disciplined growth mindset meant that college “was a cruise.”
Nayib fed his curiosity about the world by spending his junior year in Seville, Spain. His travels continued to Madrid after college, where, by day, he worked as a middle school English teaching assistant (he who’d struggled with the language as a middle schooler himself!). In the evenings, Nayib reported for sites such as Inside Spanish Football and Fox Deportes on the latest news of the Spanish soccer league, La Liga. He then went on to write about Mexican soccer before becoming a correspondent in Mexico City for ESPN, where he offered daily coverage of Liga MX and México’s national team.
He was recruited back to the States by the New York Red Bulls, where he served as a bilingual content manager for the Major League Soccer club. Today, Nayib works for New Jersey Institute of Technology as a bilingual content producer. He especially likes to highlight first-gen students making a difference in the world.
Certainly, Nayib is making his mark on the world, carrying Chinquapin’s Quid Pro Quo motto with him and opening doors for others to a new world.