MVSD Alumnus Inspires AVID Students to Reach for their Dreams

MVSD Alumnus Inspires AVID Students to Reach for their Dreams

     Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) students at Mountain View School District’s Monte Vista School were inspired and encouraged by a presentation from a former Monte Vista student and his colleague who are both Associate Project Engineers at Vacco Industries.  Jose Montenegro, a Mountain View School District alumnus having attended Monte Vista and Kranz Intermediate, and Gilbert Hernandez shared their educational journey and their passion for mechanical engineering with the 7th and 8th graders. 

      Monte Vista’s AVID program is aimed at directing students to a college-bound path by helping them develop and reinforce attitudes, skills, and knowledge to successfully enter and complete advanced class work.  AVID students learn and apply study skills and learning strategies to improve performance in all classes.

       “We are very excited to have Jose here with us today,” said Belinda Hyde, Jose’s former teacher and current AVID teacher.  “We are so proud of him and his achievements and know both he and Gilbert are great role models for our students.”

         Sharing his path to engineering, Jose stated that at a young age he was into building things and always liked math. 

        “I remember back to elementary school, in fact while I was here at Monte Vista, I really liked math and building and creating things.  I knew at a young age that I wanted to be part of something important and the field of engineering offers that,” said Montenegro. “Other key attributes you need in the engineering field are to be good problem solvers, be able to communicate and be relatable.  Even though I’m fairly young I’m working on space ships and other amazing projects. Just remember it is attainable and if you put in the work you can do it.”       

         Both Montenegro and Hernandez hold a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from U.C. Irvine and are passionate about the creative aspect of engineering. 

           “In engineering the world is yours,” said Hernandez.  “I wasn’t such a good student in grade school and high school but I realized I needed a college education.  I started at community college and found engineering was something I really liked so I pursued it.  In this field I’ve been able to create prosthetic hands for children using a 3-D printer and work on building parts for airplanes, rockets and satellites,” he added. 

         The students were excited to learn that the two young associate engineers are currently working on components for NASA’s commercial version of space flight.    For a future in engineering, the two presenters advised the students to focus on math and science, work diligently in school, ignite their creativity and to keep dreaming and never give up on their goals.  

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