SAN ANTONIO – A Highlands High School School engineering, robotics, anatomy & physiology teacher has been inspiring his students to do well beyond his own classroom.
J.R. Broils has been teaching at Highlands High School for the last 15 years, and for the last nine, he’s been guiding students through the ACE mentor program to help them learn more about potential careers in engineering, architecture, and construction.
"They (the students) get to work one on one with someone from the field, a practicing member of the field and kind of pick their brains," said Broils. "And, they have conversations about what their job entails and with our ACE project, they show them where they would fit in."
Mentors with the ACE program meet with the students at the high school, but the students have also made field trips to visit with industry professionals on the job.
"They give you the insight of how an engineer really thinks and what they have to go through," said Julian Sanchez, Highlands High School Senior. "It's a lot of stress relief because as you talk to them, you learn more. It's not as difficult. It's achievable if you just put in the work and the time, you can get it."
Students like Sanchez are not only eligible for scholarships, but paid internships before they even get into college.
“I’m really confident that they’re all going to get some money this year and they’re all planning to go off to college,” said Broils. “I can feel good about that, so hopefully, I’ve done that little part.”