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Recent Scarborough HS graduate returns to classroom as an IT contractor

2014 May 1
by HISD Communications

In this week’s I Am HISD, which features district students, graduates, employees, and other members of Team HISD, Scarborough High School graduate Brandon Bonilla talks about how he landed an internship with an IT company his senior year, which industry certification he is grateful to have earned before graduation, and what it’s like being back in the classroom as a district contractor instead of a student.

You graduated in 2012 from Scarborough High School’s Futures Academy, which focuses on Network and Computer Systems Administration. When did you first become interested in computers?

Brandon Bonilla, working on a computer

Brandon Bonilla, working on a computer

I always had an interest in computers. I just never really had the opportunity to get to work with them as closely as I did when I was in high school. Sure, I took computer classes in elementary and middle school, but they had us learning how to properly use keyboards, and making Power Points. It wasn’t until high school that I had the opportunity to get hands-on experience working with computers.

You served as teacher Nolen Thorn’s technology assistant all four years of high school. How did that experience contribute to where you are today?

It helped dramatically. As a freshman, I had very little knowledge of how a computer worked, or the capabilities that a computer has if used the right way. Having worked with Mr. Thorn all four years has helped me in so many ways, from knowing how to take care of my personal computers to helping me get a job at Netsync.

Mr. Thorn said that when you first came to Scarborough, you knew very little about computers and networking, but by your junior year you were already working independently. How did you become so knowledgeable so quickly?

I just try to do my best whenever a task comes my way. I like to tackle things head-on, and that mentality helps me learn and pick up on things rather quickly. Practice helped, too. I got to repeat many steps over and over again, so after a while, even the hardest task can become instinctual.

You’re serving as in intern now with NetSync, and working on the districtwide Windows 7 upgrade. How did you obtain that position? And has it been weird to be installing equipment in the offices of people you knew just a few years ago as teachers?

Mr. Thorn helped me land the internship at Netsync when I was a senior. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know where I would be. It has been great getting to see familiar faces whenever I go to a school.

I understand you earned industry certification as a Certified Autodesk AutoCAD Specialist while still at Scarborough. How has that benefitted you?

I earned that certification my senior year, and it helped tremendously when I applied to the college of engineering. It also saved me money, and I’m extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to take it in high school.

You’re currently working toward a degree in civil engineering at the University of Houston. What are your plans after graduation?

I hope to get a job at an engineering/architecture firm as soon as I graduate. I hope to be fully independent and be able to support myself and my family, and be able to say that I am the first in my family to graduate from college and be an inspiration to others.

If you know a graduate, student, employee, or other member of Team HISD who should be featured here, please email us at info@houstonisd.org.
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