There’s a popular saying on the Stafford Municipal School District Campus – “STEM to Earn.”
It essentially means that the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) are where the most promising jobs of the 21st century will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Stafford MSD has a strong STEM focus with top-notch teachers and a championship robotics program. Within the next few years, Stafford MSD will open a STEM magnet campus.
A pair of relatively recent Stafford MSD graduates, twins Charles and Carlton Anumnu, credit the district’s STEM focus with helping them prepare for their careers in electrical engineering, which they recently began.
Charles accepted a position as an upstream facilities engineer with Valero in Texas City, and Carlton started as a downstream facilities engineer with Chevron in downtown Houston. Facilities Engineers in the oil and gas industry have starting salaries of approximately $80,000-$90,000 per year, thus emphasizing the validity of “STEM to Earn.”
The Anumnu twins have enjoyed success at every turn. Their accomplishments are a product of the hard work and dedication that happens away from the spotlight. The sons of Charles Anumnu Sr. (a small business owner) and Nkechi Anumnu (a nurse practitioner), the Anumnu’s started attending Stafford MSD in kindergarten and always knew they wanted to pursue a career in the STEM fields.
They were uncertain about which specific field until they took a digital electronics course taught by Frank Hoang where they learned about electronic circuits and circuit boards. Hoang has since gone on to lead the Stafford High robotics team to the world championships and a regional championship.
The twins, who graduated in 2013, had a chance to visit with Hoang for the first time since they graduated.
“Mr. Hoang really prepared us,” Charles said. “We had really great math teachers, too. We are excited that a STEM magnet campus is coming to Stafford MSD, because we know it will prepare students for college and career opportunities.”
They also caught up with Stafford track coach Sergio Hinojosa. When the brothers were juniors, they participated on a team that finished second at the UIL Class 3A Track Meet and won gold medals in the relay events.
“Their extreme work ethic and discipline is amazing,” Hinojosa said. “On the field and classroom, they had that intrinsic motivation. When you have that, there’s nothing you can’t do.”
Charles, who was born one minute ahead of Carlton, graduated one spot ahead of him (third) in a class of 207 students. The margin between third and fourth was reportedly less than a percentage point, but Charles and Carlton have always had a friendly competition.
They earned scholarships to the University of Texas where they continued competing in track and field, winning multiple Big 12 Conference championships.
More importantly, they majored in electrical engineering – becoming the seventh and eighth ut-austin athletes (in any sport) to earn an electrical engineering degree. With the demands of major Division I athletics and electrical engineering, Carlton said the twins’ formula was simple.
“It came down to time management and believing in yourself,” Carlton said. “Everybody knows the way to succeed. It’s about following it and staying committed to it.”
The Anumnu’s said the time management and study skills they learned in high school translated to college. Sure, college was more intense, but the framework for success was the same. It wasn’t unusual for them to complete homework on a bus, an airport or in a hotel lobby.
While still at UT, Charles completed an internship with Valero, which led to a full-time job opportunity. Carlton was still a UT student when he interned with Oncor Electric in Dallas. That opened up the door to successfully interview for a full-time position with Chevron.
“We always had an end goal in mind,” Charles said. “We are looking forward to starting our respective careers. It’s the right location, the right technical work and the right environment.”