“I’m interested in anything having to do with electricity. I want to know how to handle power; it’s been an interest of mine for a long time. I learned a lot of stuff on my own at home because I didn’t have a dad living at the house. My mom either could get me to fix things or would have to pay to have them done.
“I’m really excited about learning electronics. I even asked [former program director] Chuck Dale to speak to the students back at my high school, Skyline, because I think this is a good program they should know about. If you want to learn, college isn’t so hard — you either want it or you don’t. A lot of my friends haven’t made the decision to go to college yet, and I’m always trying to tell them about getting educated to have a better life.
“I started working construction when I was 12, moving bricks and unloading pallets for my stepdad. I also work as a server at the Meyerson while I’m in school now, but it’s not what I want to be doing in 10 years. It’s not bad money, but there’s better money out there when you get an education and can use your knowledge on the job.
“Mechatronics is a great area because so many mechanical things go wrong, and it’s not that hard to learn how to fix them. I don’t understand why more people aren’t here learning how to do that. Everything breaks down, and you always need people to fix them.
“What kind of job do I want in the future? A stable one. I think that with the skills I’m learning here, I’ll be able to have a good career.”
Karlo Celestino is earning an associate degree in Electronics and enrolled in the college’s first Mechatronics class.