Finding college success, now James pays it forward as a college counselor

September 13, 2019



By: James Beeks, Genesys Works Class of 2010

When I was a student at Spring Woods High School, I joined Genesys Works because I had a dream of working a professional job in a “big” building in downtown Houston. Before entering Genesys Works, I had taken a Cisco networking course and upon hearing of the IT internship opportunity, I figured this would be a way of further exploring my interest in computers. Skills training and receiving an internship gave me confidence and a sense of direction. Genesys Works helped me realized that I loved to help others. During the college and career support meetings, I would assist my fellow teammates in meeting scholarship and college deadlines with email and text reminders, as well as sharing scholarship websites.

During my senior year, my internship at Targa Resources was important because it helped me broaden my career interests. Being a part of the desk side support team allowed me to visit virtually every department at Targa, which is how I became exposed to the Human Resources field. Additionally, every Targa employee I spoke to was supportive of my plans to attend a 4-year university and some even pooled together to get me items for my dorm room. I felt Targa was my second family because it was clear they were rooting for me to be successful and as the first and sole intern at that time, the assurance gave me a high level of confidence to be the best I could be once I got to college.

Following my internship, I attended and graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) in May 2014. My bachelor’s degree was in Communication Studies and my interest in Human Resources was one of the avenues I explored in addition to the higher education and student affairs field. At SFA, I participated in a summer study abroad trip to England, Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, organizations under the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and served as a Resident Advisor for 2 years. Most notable, I was a finalist for the “Mr. SFA” award, the highest student recognition from the SFA Alumni Association.

My favorite Genesys Works moment was on May 12, 2014. This marked the first day of my role as a Program Coordinator in the Houston office, which I held for 2.5 years. I was able to give back to the organization that gave me so much and truly mentor young professionals on high level. To this day, the relationships I have with Targa, Genesys Works alumni/staff, and my former Genesys Works mentors remain active and strong.


After serving as a Genesys Works Program Coordinator, James was employed by The University of Texas at Austin as an Admissions Counselor from Oct 2016 – Jul 2019. James is now a successful College Counselor at YES Prep Public Schools.

He’s a confident public speaker and highly motivated Higher Ed professional who thrives off of Winning Others Over. He says, “We live in a ‘small world’ and I believe in connecting and collaborating with as many diverse individuals as possible.”


About Genesys Works

Genesys Works provides pathways to career success for high school students in underserved communities through skills training, meaningful work experiences, and impactful relationships. Our program consists of 8 weeks of technical and professional skills training, a paid year-long corporate internship, college and career coaching, and alumni support to and through college.  Our goal is to move more students out of poverty and into professional careers, creating a more productive and diverse workforce in the process.  Since its founding in 2002, Genesys Works has grown to serve more than 4,000 students annually in Houston, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington’s National Capital Region, and New York City. To learn more, visit

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