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?
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 TomorrowsTechnician.com/student-of-the-month/.