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Irving ISD News/Events

Cardwell Senior to Pursue Diesel Mechanic Career

Demian Rodriguez (photo courtesy of Irving ISD)

Big things are in store for Demian Rodriguez, a senior at Cardwell Career Preparatory Center. Following his high school graduation, he will attend Texas State Technical College in Waco, where he will pursue a career in the diesel mechanic industry.

“I want to accomplish a lot of things,” says Rodriguez. “I have big goals and dreams. After I obtain my associate’s degree, I plan on obtaining certifications in welding and hydraulics. Then, I’ll keep working until I can hopefully open my own shop for 18-wheelers.”

Rodriguez has always been enamored with working with his hands. While he wasn’t always sure of what he wanted to do, his father wanted him to work in an office and have a better life than he did. Although Rodriguez wanted a better life too, working in an office didn’t appeal to him. That’s when Rodriguez’s uncle took him under his wing.

“I remember asking him more about what he did at his job,” Rodriguez says. “It piqued my interest because I like breaking things apart and putting them back together. I also don’t mind getting my hands dirty.”

After learning some of the basics, his uncle helped him secure an apprenticeship at a shop, and Rodriguez has been working there ever since. While the pay may not have been very high at first, he is making more money now, and his salary will continue to increase as he obtains more experience and certifications.

“18-wheelers are where the big money is at,” says Rodriguez. “In fact, they are actually easier to work on than regular-size vehicles because everything is bigger. You have more space to work with, so the components are easier to take out.”

Rodriguez has been an Irving ISD student his entire educational career, attending Clifton Early Childhood School, Brandenburg Elementary School, Travis Middle School, and ultimately Cardwell. He has two older siblings who also graduated from Cardwell.

“Here at Cardwell, the teachers help you and collaborate with you,” says Rodriguez. “I received more attention from them because my class sizes were smaller, which helped me perform better as a student.”

Rodriguez looks forward to graduation and heading to Waco to learn new things and form new connections.

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