Ricardo Flores expects to graduate with an associate degree from the Automotive Technology program at Texas State Technical College in Fall 2019.
The Harlingen native is this year’s TSTC Rising Star award recipient because of his volunteer work on campus and in the community.
Flores, 19, not only works to pay for school and bills, but he is also active with the TSTC C.A.R.S. Club and is the incoming president, and volunteers during service projects hosted by TSTC’s Student Life.
What are your plans after you graduate?
After I graduate I plan on returning to TSTC for a certificate in Auto Collision Technology and Business Management Technology.
What’s your dream job?
My dream job is to own an automotive shop and build a partnership with TSTC to begin an internship program to help other automotive and auto collision students receive real-world experience while still in school.
What has been your greatest accomplishment while at TSTC?
My greatest accomplishment while at TSTC is has been using all of the knowledge I have gained since I have started my program and using it to rebuild and repair my $500 BMW, which didn’t work at all when I purchased it. My car’s name is “Helga” and is my daily drive and only transportation, so every semester I bring it into the TSTC automotive shop and fix something new, depending on what we are learning.
What greatest lesson have you learned about yourself or life?
The greatest lesson I have learned is that money cannot affect your happiness, it is the people you surround yourself with that do. People come into your life for a reason; sometimes it is to teach us lessons, but no matter what, we have to cherish them.
Who at TSTC has had the greatest influence on your success?
There are two people at TSTC that have influenced my success, Diego Trevino, Automotive Technology program maintenance specialist and my ex-girlfriend Edith Romero. First, Trevino has been a great mentor who has helped me rebuild “Helga” and who has laid my foundation in the program. Lastly, Romero is the person who helped me become active on campus and give me the confidence I needed to grow as a leaders.
What is your advice for future TSTC students?
My advice for future TSTC students is to find a trustworthy mentor. We don’t know it all and we all need someone who offers guidance. And the instructors and staff here at TSTC are some of the best mentors, they will never lead you in the wrong direction.