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Student of the Week: Gabriel Rocha

Since he was young, Gabriel Rocha says he has always been fascinated with machines and how they operate; especially firearms.

Gabriel Rocha

Inspired by his father, who was a firearms instructor with US Border Patrol, Gabriel said he channeled those experiences to eventually pursue a degree in manufacturing technology.

A graduate of McAllen High School, Gabriel said he received his certificate in structural welding while still in high school. At the same time he met an Advanced Manufacturing teacher that introduced him to an entirely different world, he said.

“Immediately I thought, this is where I needed to be. While welding was about putting things together, advanced manufacturing is actually about cutting a part from a piece of raw stock,” Gabriel said. “I hopped into advanced manufacturing, and I have loved it ever since.”

Gabriel plans to graduate in May 2018 with an Associate in Precision Manufacturing Technology. Even before graduating school, he feels confident to have a job lined up with a local machining company which constructs top tier holsters for firearms. He begins with his internship in the company on Oct. 2.

He plans on starting the job as a programmer, creating all the molds for the holsters.

He will continue his education by pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. When it’s all said and done, Gabriel said he will have a welding certificate, Associate degree in Precision Manufacturing Technology and Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.

“For students, I would like to tell them to follow what they really love to do. In my case, I always knew I could do more. Never settle. It’s important to picture yourself in 10 years. When you get there after those 10 years, continue to think ahead. You can always be better. You have to always push yourself and never stop.”

Top three accomplishments:

“I’m glad to still be pursuing my education. When I graduated high school, I really didn’t know where I was headed, but I have immersed myself in a school setting.”

“I’m proud of myself for doing well so far. It’s important to stay out of trouble, and I have kept myself on a straight path.”

“I feel very happy about my future and where I am headed.”

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