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In almost any neighborhood, people will see a teenager mowing a lawn for some quick summer cash. Not long ago, that teen was Wade Martinez. He was on his way to college, and he needed some quick summer cash. No one expected him to turn the short summer job into a ssuccessful small business. Wade created CBS Services, and he hasn’t looked back, reports The Klein Sun.

“I really just started mowing grass, as a lot of kids do,” Martinez said. “And I made some flyers and put on it ‘college-bound student needs money,’ which was true, and that’s how it got the name.”

The acronym “CBS” stuck as Martinez, who graduated from Cy-Fair High in 1990 before receiving his degree in accounting from Southwestern University, expanded his business to include other garden-related services ranging from irrigation systems to outdoor kitchens. His business now services Houston city-wide, with more than 10,000 irrigation customers in the Northwest region alone. Since CBS Services’ humble start in 1988 during Martinez’ high school years, he has remained committed to helping college-bound students earn extra money for school.

“He’s a genuinely good person,” said Mary Lyman, a 19-year-old CBS Services employee, graduate of Klein High and a sophomore at Brigham Young University, where she is majoring in business. “He’s not just focused on making money or providing for his family. He also wants to help us as students.”

In addition to paying a regular hourly wage, Martinez rewards such student employees with a $1,000 scholarship at the completion of their summer of hard work. This scholarship amount is subject to potential “bonuses” if the students successfully fulfill an assigned project or otherwise demonstrate newly gained business expertise.

“He gives you the paycheck, but he also teaches you. He gives you some books on the side to read and we’ll take some quizzes on them about sales and business, which is really neat,” said Alex Belan, an 18-year-old recent Klein High graduate who is set to study finance at Texas A&M this fall. “I feel like working here, there’s more responsibility than any other job I could get just for the summer.”

Photo by Jason Riedy

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Originally posted by Angela Shupe on July 8, 2011 in Ideas.

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