Assemblyman Guy Houston, R-Livermore, shared his recipe for success with Galt High seniors Wednesday morning, encouraging them to break through their comfort zones when meeting new people.
"Get to know as many people as possible," he said to Jennifer Peterson's Advancing Via Individual Determination (AVID) class, made up of first generation college-bound students.
The legislator came to speak at the request of senior Brittany Albright, who said she hoped to shadow the businessman turned politician for her senior project.
In addition to his legislative duties in Sacramento, Houston also runs a mortgage and real estate company with his brother. He said he got his real estate license in 1978 right out of high school and has been working on his own in the business ever since.
The key to finding a career path is flexibility, said Houston, whose areas of interest went from sports to journalism to business. Flexibility also includes hearing the opinions and concerns of those who may have different backgrounds from you.
He later told of his experiences as a 32-year-old city council member in Dublin, alongside people in their 60s and 70s. The difference in their perspectives allowed them to make fair and balanced decisions for a wider populace, Houston said.
"Even at your age, if there's something going on, you have an opportunity to give your voice just like anybody else," Houston told the group.
At the end of the class, the assemblyman entertained questions from the audience, who wanted to know how much money he made and what his favorite part of being a lawmaker was.
He admitted to earning as much as $129,000 in salary and per diem pay in addition to health benefits, but said working together with people to figure out real problems was the biggest benefit of all.