I decided to attend Thomas A. Edison High School in the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) to take advantage of its “Health Profession” magnet program. I knew that attending Edison I was working on the right path towards a career within the medical field. During my sophomore year my counselor, teachers and the Alamo Area Academies offered me the opportunity to be part of the first inaugural cohort of students to attend the Health Professions Academy (HPA). This program allowed high school students to pursue a free program where they could become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN).
Joining the HPA was a golden opportunity for me to pursue my endeavors towards a career in the medical field. The HPA allowed me to spend half a day as a high school student and the other half as a college student attending dual credit nursing classes at St. Philips College’s main campus. The program taught us the necessary knowledge and performance skills to successfully pass the Texas Board of Nursing exam, allowing me to successfully earn my LVN credentials. My goal was to successfully complete the program and in turn have the ability to help my family financially while working and continuing my education towards my BSN degree. I wanted to give something back to them for all the support they gave to me throughout the entire program.
Now that I have passed my LVN exam, I will start applying for positions at the beginning of this summer. Currently, I successfully completed my first semester at UTSA where I am working on prerequisites towards my BSN and plan on transferring to UT Health Science in San Antonio. I plan to do many things with my education in nursing and I aspire is to become a Nurse Practitioner, specializing in geriatrics. My ultimately long term goal is to earn a Doctrine Degree in nursing.
This was a wonderful and great opportunity; I am very appreciative of those that helped me through this journey such as the Alamo Area Academies, SAISD faculty and staff and the faculty at St. Phillips College. I also would like to give thanks to my parents for their unwavering support throughout the HPA program.
2011 HPA Graduate (SAISD Edison High School)
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The first time I was asked the question, “Why do you teach?” I lit up and answered, “I love the interaction with high school students! The feeling of attentive and inquisitive Aerospace Academy students just gets my wagon rolling at great speeds, and to feel that another person finds the information that I have to provide is important, has no equal.”
I use my personal experiences to encourage my Aerospace Academy students to find direction in their life. I have found that the key to success in teaching is the continued interaction and the firm belief that if students trust you as a valid source of information, you have paved the way for learning. You must have a passion for it. It is not a matter of throwing information to students without giving meaning or purpose to theory or statements, one must provide additional clarification so it becomes useful in life towards the student’s educational goals.
I memorize the students’ names within the first days and I can see the difference in the student’s attitude, they feel a personal connection.
The biggest satisfaction of “Me”, is when a student graduates the Aerospace Academy program, and is hired in a position with a future, you know you have made a difference.
Aircraft Technology Instructor
St. Philip’s College
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The internships were a wonderful experience because you are able to use the knowledge gained from the academy and are able to test yourself in the field with the supervision and support from experienced professionals. For me the internships were what helped me decide that the aviation industry is where I belonged.
I have received many opportunities! From the great instructors at AAAA, I received what I feel is top quality education and support. From the internships, I feel I had the opportunity to expand my working knowledge and use it to my advantage to help find a great company to work. The temporary job opportunity then resulted in a career path. I will be receiving my Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Professional Aeronautics in June 2010 from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, which Lockheed Martin paid.
Bid & Contract Coordinator Specialist
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
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Hello there! My name is Richard and I’m a senior from New Braunfels High school. I’m currently attending the Aerospace Academy at St. Philip’s College Southwest Campus. My junior year at the college was a lot of fun! Not only did I get to learn about airplanes, but I also got an internship at Randolph Air Force Base.
One of the most enjoyable classes that I have ever had was Ground Operations. We learned how to Marshall Airplanes, we also got inside a Cessna 150 and taxi the airplane down the runway at Stinson Airport.
My internship was also a great opportunity for me. It opened up the door for me to experience being in the workforce and the actual job as a Crew Member. I got to work on the T-38’s. For example, I got to change tires in accordance with the technical orders (TO’s) and work on the flight line launching and recovering the T-38’s. Also, I got to see what they do in the Non Destructive Inspection (NDI) lab, which basically is a lab that checks parts for any wear, damage or cracks on the part.
All I can say is this is a great experience for anyone! I would recommend you join the Aerospace Academy program.
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What a terrific program! It is not often that we get an opportunity to participate in a program that not only exposes the next generation of aviation professionals to the business, but also helps us during our peak season.
The individual interns brought a good understanding of the basics, and we filled in the gaps as we put them to work. The learning curve was shorter than expected, and they were knocking out the work in no time flat.
The largest challenge that we have with the internship program is that it is too short. I would like to see these fine young people for a longer internship period, and am looking forward to their return next year!
Thank you Alamo Academies for the promising young people and the opportunity to be part of their career building experience.
Manager Chromalloy Power Services
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High School students who graduate from the Alamo Area Aerospace Academy (AAAA) are well prepared to begin careers in the aerospace industry. As an aerospace employee, you will enjoy a salary well above the San Antonio average – in fact, our industry pays some of the best wages in San Antonio. And, you will get some of the most lucrative benefits available that includes, career development and training, college tuition assistance, health and dental insurance, retirement plans, and flexible work schedules and days off.
Join the hundreds of other AAAA graduates who now work on critical weapons systems that support our military troops around the world or have a major role in getting pilots, passengers and cargo safely to their destination.
As Manager, Workforce Development for Lockheed Martin Kelly Aviation Center, I am proud to represent a Company that is a staunch supporter of AAAA. A significant part of our labor force is comprised of graduates from the Alamo Area Aerospace Academy. The AAAA is a major part of our workforce development strategy that allows us to sustain and grow our business and provides us with a real competitive edge.
Joseph A. Wilson
Lockheed Martin Kelly Aviation Center
Manager, Workforce Development
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We want our Aerospace Academy students to be a notch above the average student. They must develop a sense of responsibility above any other. The students that successfully receive the Certificate of Completion walk the stage with that sense. They also show pride in what they have accomplished.
As an instructor, I know what these graduates have to do to be successful in the Aerospace Academy Program. Hard work and dedication are the keys to success and employment. An aviation maintenance technician has an awesome responsibility to the people that fly. Therefore, our curriculum is one of the most challenging out there. The graduates are proud and they earned it. Many graduates have gone on to become engineers or crew leads in the aircraft industry. Some graduates have earned degrees in other areas and have said they owe their success to what they learned at the Alamo Area Aerospace Academy.
Harold D. Heath Jr.
Instructor, Aircraft Technology
St. Philip's College (SWC)
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Our experience with the Information Technology and Security Academy Internship students was a beneficial experience for our college as well as the Internship Students. They reported to work the first day with book knowledge and I believe they left with industry experience. They completed their assigned projects with pride and efficiency; we were very impressed by them. Within two weeks of starting they were already self sufficient and working on projects with minimal supervision by our team.
Coordinator of College Technology, San Antonio College
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We are glad to support the Academy programs. This year's interns did a great job with us. We offered all four seniors a job and wish we could have hired at least three of the juniors.
Human Resource Director for Chromalloy Components Services
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I knew by the middle of my sophomore year of high school that I had to come up with a plan. Being in a military family, I knew my parents would be shipping out at the end of my senior year and that I had to decide what I wanted to do in my future. The Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Academy was presented to me at the right time because it combined several important things for me in that it provided me with a valuable skill set, a way to market myself through an internship, and with a future after I graduated from high school”
Robert Rayburn, ATMA Graduate (2009), Machinist with Southwest Research Institute
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I love the change in scenery! I love being out in the lab working head-to-head with my teachers and other students. It's amazing what and how much you can learn when you change the location of your classroom.
I enjoy being able to work on an active flightline with hard working crew chiefs and real great AF pilots. My friends were so envious I thought they'd turn green. The best AAAA opportunity was my internship at Randolph Air Force Base. Being a 17 year old female working on an active, male-dominated flight line, I was outside in my element. It was great and I excelled.
Join. I mean it! The experience is beyond any words I could place on paper. You have to experience the satisfaction of a job well done, an exam aced and the smell of part cleaner and aircraft paint stuck in your hair. I would definitely do it all over again. It's a great experience.
The things I like best about working here in the aviation program is seeing the students become more successful over time. The Aerospace Academy accepts high school juniors who would normally never have the opportunity to explore a career in aviation. Once they start there is a set academic path they must follow towards certification, however, we also offer leadership and workplace readiness training through SkillsUSA. Seeing our student's progress from high school juniors, new to aviation, and then winning the state competition and participating in the national contest last year was a truly rewarding experience. To have both of the Texas aviation maintenance representatives to the SkillsUSA national competition at both high school and college levels come from our program has got to be one of my greatest high lights as an educator.
David W. Weaver
Instructor, Aviation Technology
St. Philip's College/SWC
The word "Lucky" only begins to express what I have come up to experience with the opportunity the academy has presented me with. Lucky for now I can work with a select group of individuals who share my interest and pleasure in helping students achieve goals at an unprecedented rate. Lucky for being one of St Philips College instructors trusted with this beautiful task. Lucky for the opportunity to be a team member in such a prolific work force support model. Lucky for the opportunity to interact with, guide, counsel, teach and assist the best of the next generation of aviation technicians. Lucky for the knowledge that I am one of the accessories that supplies our aviation industry with the kind of technician that they have specified to us that they need, in order to remain competitive and grow. Lucky because I am helping to cause a positive change in the lives of many. Lucky because it is the only place I can combine my profession and my trade. Education and Aviation Technology.
Some of my student's egresses from the academy are back at St Philip's taking higher level courses. Some have taken their earned credits and transferred to other colleges and universities such as Texas A&M. UTSA, UASF academy etc. Some are well on their way to become engineers and at least one has confessed to me that she wants to become an astronaut. As you can see, lucky can only start to describe what I have come up to experience with students at St Philip's College Alamo Area Aerospace Academy.
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Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Academy is designed to assist youths in developing and pursing a viable career track, by exposing them to relevant and specific information on career paths, entry level pay, demand trends, work environment, safety, educational requirements, and skills associated with a specific occupation.
As a Welding Instructor, I observed teenagers grow into young adults. I also viewed the growth of their knowledge in different skilled areas that were available to them. I observed them doing their hands-on-training of different skills, while they were on the internship for eight weeks. The internship during the summer lasted for eight weeks, where they were introduced to different skills in different companies and the feedback received from the different companies was excellent.
As their Instructor, it was very fulfilling to have worked with these excellent students and to have witnessed all their accomplishments. Over the last year and half that I've worked with them, I hope it was as fulfilling for them as it was for me.
ATMA Welding Instructor
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