• May 16, 2024

From ranches to power lines

From ranches to power lines

South Texas College Electrician Technology student David Botello says he is eager to see what the future holds.

Recently graduated with an Electrician Assistant Certificate, Botello said he earned it less than a year since he began Electrician Technology courses at STC as a “blank slate,” with no prior experience in the field, now he looks forward to pursuing an Electrician Technology Associate of Applied Science.

The achievement, he said, is the result of a hard work mentality inspired by his father from young age.

Working odd jobs with his father at La Rosita, a ranching community near Rio Grande City, Botello said he was exposed to welding and machinery from a young age all while earning valuable work experience he said would help him in a future career.

Working on those dusty ranches, Botello said he would look at the various wind turbines in Starr County and began to wonder what career choice he would have to pursue in order to learn how to service them. A career as an electrician was the answer he was looking for, he said.

“I always wanted to work on wind turbines as a technician but lately I have also been looking at doing work as a line man, which involves working with power lines. In any case I knew the first step along with entering STC, was getting my Commercial Drivers License (CDL) because a lot of companies require you to have that license to do work on power lines,” Botello said. “That’s actually what I’m doing at the moment while I am taking my classes. That’s the job I am chasing right now and I’m one step closer.”

A standout student, Botello said he achieved a 3.5 grade-point average before graduating from Roma High School in 2023.

Botello said it was amazing to begin classes at STC Starr County campus’s expanded facility for electricians, which added 2,138 square-feet during the spring 2024 semester for a state-of-the-art lab and learning space.

“It has been amazing to use STC’s new facilities here on campus, which have recently expanded. Believe it or not, I had never even touched a wire before coming here, but I have learned so much, including how to properly and safely use the tools and do the electrical work this field entails,” Botello said.  “I was a little nervous at the beginning, but I learned that instructors at STC start students from square-one. They don’t set you up for failure here, but instead they start you off at a comfortable level, at the basic level, so you can move up. I can tell that instructors here want the best for all students. I was just sure to make the most out of it.”

Botello was among the 3,500 graduates who received their degree in five ceremonies May 3 and 4.

“To succeed, I understand now that you have to push yourself, and you have to dedicate yourself and be responsible,” Botello said. “If you want something, you have to chase it because no one will chase it for you. I knew that if I got a good job, that would lead to an even better career and help me make a better living for myself.”

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