Carlos Mongalo ’11 Finds Purpose Through Service

When Carlos Mongalo ’11 created his one-of-a-kind glow-in-the-dark wood flooring, he wanted to bring light into the darkness. As the CEO of Glowry Collection and a board member of the National Flooring Contractors Apprenticeship Program, Mongalo has made his vision a reality. 

During his time studying for his BS in Business Administration at Saint Mary’s, Mongalo was involved in Brother Michael Avila’s Christian Service Internship—now called the Lasallian Service Internship—Jan Term course in Nicaragua. “That was training for me to do what I’m doing now because I’m basically taking that entire program that I did at Saint Mary’s, and now I'm applying it to the flooring industry.”

When the flooring industry began to face a job shortage a couple of years back, Mongalo applied his entrepreneurial spirit to create jobs and help future generations.  “When I saw that opportunity, I thought, ‘You know what? This crisis right here—I’m going to move forward with it,’ ” said Mongalo. “To make the story very short, we started an apprenticeship program….And it’s just taken off now.”

Mongalo credits Saint Mary’s for helping him discover his passion for helping others. “The motto ‘Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve’ was something that was really instilled in me,” he said.  

Mongalo also partnered with private investors to build houses for under-resourced families in Ecuador. “This is my purpose. It’s taken me back to what I really wanted to do in life—to help people in Latin America.”

Reflecting on his accomplishments, Mongalo expressed gratitude to his mentors at Saint Mary’s for giving him the tools to succeed. “If it wasn’t for the High Potential Program, I would have never gotten to Saint Mary’s. I'm very grateful for the High Potential Program,” said Mongalo. 

Mongalo especially thanks Brother Camillus Chavez for guiding him on his spiritual journey at Saint Mary’s and beyond: “I’ll never forget one thing he told me, ‘The purpose of life is...to let God live inside of you and then let God live through you, and let him do what he wants to do in the world through you, to use you as a vessel. And over time, he’s going to keep polishing your heart, and you’re going to shine like a diamond.’  

“I never forgot that. Ever since then, I started getting deeper into searching for God and reading the Bible,” said Mongalo. “And I think everything has happened because of God, because I don’t know how else I achieved all of this.”

The late English Professor Naomi Schwartz also had a great effect on Mongalo’s life. “She saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. It was teachers like her that really boosted my confidence in life and helped me believe in the tools that I didn’t know I had, which I’m using now in everything.”