March 16, 2015 12:00 PM

WHEN CHARLES CLARK TOOK A JOB AS A CUSTODIAN at Trinity High School in Euless, Texas, in 1989, he quickly saw a need for more than clean floors. Many students were poor and had no fathers around. Clark, a married dad of three, stepped in to help. Over the years the 65-year-old has mentored hundreds of kids, doing everything from buying them food, shoes and prom dresses to taking them into his home during crises. “He’s one of the most recognized people on campus,” says principal Mike Harris. “Kids seek him out.” Butch Anthony Sias, a ’96 graduate whose dad was in prison, says Clark took him to ball games and pushed him to get good grades. “He changed my life,” says Sias, now a furniture salesman and married dad of a baby girl. Clark, one of eight children raised by a barber and a homemaker in Hattiesburg, Miss., says of his role at Trinity: “It’s the best job in the world.”

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