CAST Schools » Press » Student gets jump on career in tech industry thanks to Toyota

Student gets jump on career in tech industry thanks to Toyota

What do you get when you put crazy smart, and crazy driven together? You get this guy…

“I’m Carlos Lara, senior at Southwest High School.”

To understand Carlos Lara, is to understand this one comment, “My best advice is don’t waste your time.”

“My family has really high expectations for everyone in our family.”

Needless to say, expectations are met. He’s a star in the STEM program at Southwest High School. He also takes part in the Engineering club, and takes dual credit courses at St. Phillips.

And did I mention, he and his buddies are building not one, but two electric cars. Oh yeah, he also nabbed a cool internship at Toyota last summer.

His ambition comes from mom, but make no mistake – it’s nurtured within the Southwest ISD.

“We say PreK to industry. We are developing programs from bottom building foundation, identifying students interest. As kids go up, we are offering programs which highlight those fields of study so they can make their pathway decisions as 8th graders going into high school.”

Carlos knew by 8th grade he loved math. So counselors suggested a pathway into the STEM program. That opened the door at Toyota where he plans on working this summer after graduation. It’s a sweet deal for Carlos who will get hands on experience in Advanced Manufacturing. Plus he’ll get a 2-year degree from St. Phillips.

“Carlos is extraordinary. There’s maturity with Carlos you don’t see in teenagers. So it’s exciting to see him, get his safety gear and get right to work.”

“I wake up at 6, get ready, leave for college at 7. Actual classes are from 7:30-9:50, and then back to high school to finish my day.”

He’s too humble for his own good. School ends at 4:30. His day is far from over. After that, there are after-school clubs until 7:00. And homework until… well, whenever it’s done.

So how does he do it? Actually….he already told you…

“My best advice is don’t waste your time. Every second you spend you spend doing something, you’re never getting it back. My mom says you can sleep when you’re dead. I try to spend my time wisely and learn as much as I can. And that’s what I would tell anybody.”

Source: News 4 SA By: David Chancellor

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The Centers for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) Network is a tax-exempt organization as described in Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service code. CAST Schools are partnership schools with a focus on STEM careers, project based learning and work-based learning. Key partners include public school districts, higher education institutions, and local employers from target industries.