Meet Dante Picon-Vargas, The August 2019 Continental ‘Student Of The Month’

Dante immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico and is pursuing a career as a technician and automotive engineer.

Meet Dante. After emigrating from Mexico to the U.S. with his family, Dante is pursuing a career as a technician and automotive engineer. Dante has worked hard to learn a new language, while also attending advanced level auto classes. This year, his hard work and determination paid off as he proudly passed his first Student ASE test. 

Q: What inspired you to take automotive classes?

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A: I was always curious about how the parts of a car worked. My father always took me to the shop. He worked in public transportation and had to take those cars in for service. I was seven and the shop in Mexico didn’t have any lifts, but they used only jacks. I watched them working and I wanted to get right in there with them.

Q: What’s your favorite project or repair you’ve worked on?

A: My favorite project was my family’s Honda Odyssey. The van was what everyone in the family uses and it had bad motor mounts and the shocks were bad, too. I repaired it at school for the price of the parts and my family was very happy. 

Q: What sets you apart from your classmates and other auto tech students? 

A: We all have different qualities, but I think coming here to America from where I am from makes me want to stay here. I know how much better opportunity it is here for me to learn and have a good job and for my family to be safe.


Q: If you could only have one tool in your toolbox, what would it be?

A: I would have to say a light. When a car comes in the shop, if we don’t have a light, Mr. Stow walks away. He says if you can’t see the problem, how can you fix it? And safety glasses, always wear safety glasses.

Q: Why do you want to be a technician?

A: I’ve always been passionate about how engines and all their components work together. Everything is like a puzzle that each piece fits in a spot.

“Dante is the perfect example of reaching for the American dream. I’ve been teaching for nearly 20 years and I’ve never had a student work as hard as Dante… Dante has shown me how to use new resources that bridge the gap and allow me to be a better teacher.” –  Jack Stow, Automotive Technology Instructor, NKCS – CTEC

To nominate a student for the Continental Student of the Month program, visit

Tomorrow's Technician Staff

By Tomorrow's Technician Staff

Tomorrow’s Tech (TT) delivers technical information for servicing today’s vehicles to more than 40,000 automotive students enrolled in more than 1,100 technical and vocational schools across the country.