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Villarreal Shines in CET Program

Friday, May 2, 2014
By Eladio Jaimez

AnyssaIt wasn’t her first choice, but it’s the best one she’s made.

Anyssa Villarreal graduated from Los Fresnos High School in 2011 and enrolled in Texas State Technical College hoping to pursue a nursing degree.

“I just wasn’t feeling it,” Villarreal said.

So after being persuaded by her three cousins, Villarreal chose to enroll in the Chemical Environmental Technology (CET) Program.

Her cousins graduated from the CET Program in previous years and all held successful careers. Two work for Chevron Phillips and another for Crayton Polymers, all in Houston.

“That was a major selling point,” Villarreal said of choosing the CET Program. “They all had jobs and they told me that I would find a job right away. They all had jobs before they graduated.”

And Villarreal is no different.

The 20-year old expects to graduate in Summer 2014 but she’s already been hired by Formosa Plastics in Victoria. In her final semester, her sole duty is a final project and presentation. And since she’ll already be working, her presentation will be on what her job entails at Formosa Plastics.

“I’ll come back and give my presentation and then walk at commencement,” Villarreal said.

Villarreal is a non-traditional student in the sense that the CET Program and chemical environmental industry is dominated by males. Two of her cousins that graduated from the program are female and that made a difference in Villarreal’s decision as well.

“If it had been the other way around I might not have gone into CET,” Villarreal said. “I might have been a little more intimidated. But they’re very successful and they loved what they did so I went for it.”

Villarreal said she fell in love with the program immediately and knew she was in the right place.

“You weren’t just sitting in a classroom,” Villarreal said. “You get a lot of hands-on experience in the labs. I loved it.”

Villarreal was recently nominated for the Rising Star Award, which recognizes someone who helps inspire other students. Villarreal won the award at the Student Leadership Banquet last month.

“It’s a very humbling award,” Villarreal said. “But I know I couldn’t have accomplished anything without the support of my family, friends and TSTC.”

She said coming to TSTC was the best decision she’s made.

“From the faculty to the staff here, everyone’s helped,” Villarreal said. “They helped with interviews and the instructors prepare you very well for the workforce.”

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