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EASTERN National Hispanic Heritage Month Student Spotlight: Jose Garcia, Collision Repair Technology

Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) is proud to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by recognizing the achievements and sharing the stories of our Hispanic American students.  This week, we feature Jose Garcia, a Hatboro-Horsham/EASTERN Collision Repair Senior. 

Jose’s parents left Mexico and came to the United States before he was born to create opportunities for him that they did not have.  Their courage and hard work have inspired Jose to be mindful of taking advantage of the opportunities available to him.   EASTERN is one of those opportunities he is thankful for. 

Jose credits his brother, Marcos, a 2022 graduate of the Automotive Technology program, for encouraging him to consider pursuing a career and technical education program at EASTERN.  Marcos understood Jose’s desire to work with his hands.

“I attended a Career Expo on Zoom and decided I wanted the opportunity to train for a career while in high school,” said Jose. “I wanted to attend the Electrical Technology program, but the program was full. I then chose Collision Repair Technology.  I love the Collision Repair Technology program and am happy with the way things worked out for me.  I have a friend right now who did not attend EASTERN and is spending $30,0000 to attend a trade school, so I am very grateful for EASTERN.”

Being a Mexican American in the Philadelphia Suburbs has not always been easy, especially in middle school.  “Kids can be cruel and there is a lot of judgment, but I’ve learned to embrace my culture, and not hide from it, because it is who I am. I am proud of who I am.  I love my language, my culture, and my family,” said Jose.

Jose loves painting cars and wants to build a career on his skills.  Jose has found that the technique, focus, and precision that painting requires are part of the challenge and part of the fun.  In February, Jose plans to participate in a paid internship through EASTERN’s co-op program so that he can begin his career while still in high school.