(Northside ISD – Stevens HS)

When I became a junior in high school, I was accepted into the Alamo Area Aerospace Academy program at St. Philip’s College.  Originally it wasn’t something that I would’ve imagined myself doing, but my older brother and sister had both started and finished the program & I just so happened to follow in their footsteps. Little did I know that my decision to do just that would open up and provide me with great opportunities for success in my not too distant future.

My experience with the Aerospace Academy was unlike any other.  I was provided with the instruction and hands on experience to accomplish tasks concerning aircraft maintenance along with a variety of other matters.  The training I was receiving while in this program would not only make me a more qualified candidate in the industrial job area but also enhance my college transcript by already allowing me to have enough credits under my belt so I could be considered a sophomore. I graduated college with a one year certificate of completion before I even graduated high school with my diploma. The Alamo Academies are an excellent resource if you’re looking to learn a trade or skill or even test out the waters to see if you’d like or be good at one of the programs.  I never would’ve fathomed how much of an impact this program would’ve had on my life.

As of now, I’m currently involved in another program called the Toyota AMT (Advanced Maintenance Technician) Program, going to school Tuesdays and Thursdays at St. Philip’s yet again, and working at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing TX Plant on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Over 6,000 applicants were submitted and only 20 were selected for this program. Out of those 20 selected, my older brother, older sister, AND myself were all chosen to be a part of this amazing program. We’re truly blessed to take part in such a great opportunity and I strongly believe that all of our experience with the Alamo Academies had a great deal to do when making those final selection decisions.  These programs benefit you in areas you may not be able to fully comprehend just yet, but they do pay off later on in life. With the skills and trades you learn at the Alamo Colleges, you only build yourself up and add to your self worth. When it comes to looking for employment, transferring to a university, or being reviewed for potential leadership positions in your work or school, you already have the upper edge with your academy experience.

It is a very challenging program, you will receive college level work while still in high school, but it’s so much more rewarding once you complete it. You meet so many new people and gain new life long friendships! You have chances to network with many great individuals both during your internship and through your professors!  Overall, it’s an experience that is beyond words.  It is worth it in the end. I’m so thankful my siblings and parents supported me to stay and complete the program even when it became difficult.  All the work I exerted while in high school that I thought may have gone in vain, is paying off immensely only within a years time. I couldn’t have made a better decision throughout my high school youth.