(SWEETWATER, Texas) – A scholarship opportunity led Joshua Cabaniss, of Rotan, to Texas State Technical College.
After learning of the Amadeus Wind Energy Scholarship from his high school principal, Cabaniss researched TSTC’s Wind Energy Technology program and enrolled. He is now studying for his Associate of Applied Science degree in the program and hopes to go to work immediately after graduating next spring.
“I was thinking about joining the military until I learned about the scholarship opportunity,” Cabaniss said. “My principal said this would be a great opportunity for me, especially since I come from a low-income family. My entire college would be paid for, and I would be able to work close to home.”
Being close to his hometown also played a role in his decision to attend TSTC.
“I knew I would be able to visit my parents,” Cabaniss said. “I wanted to make sure I chose a career that would help them. I want to give back to my family because they have supported me throughout my life.”
Cabaniss is a resident assistant at the Sweetwater campus and enjoys helping new students learn the ins and outs of campus life.
“I love being a resident assistant because everyone on campus is friendly,” he said. “There are not many of us on campus, and we like to hang out and have fun together.”
Lupe Navarrette, housing director on the Sweetwater campus, said Cabaniss is a perfect person to serve as a resident assistant.
“He works so hard to make sure people are accommodated,” he said. “I know he is going to have a bright future.”
That future will include working in a growing industry. According to onetonline.org, the need for wind turbine service technicians in Texas will increase 83% over the next decade. That trend is higher than the national forecast of 61% by 2029. The average annual salary for a technician in Texas is $52,420, according to the website.
“I have enjoyed all of my classes, and I should. I have been working on electronics and machines since I was 13 years old,” Cabaniss said.
One area that he knows will need improvement is his ability to do well in job interviews.
“I know that I have to improve on those skills in order to get a job,” Cabaniss said. “My instructor, Russell Benson, said he would work with me to help me improve those skills. One thing I really like here (at TSTC) is that everyone is willing to help.”
Cabaniss also likes how the instructors make students think before working on projects.
“We have to critically think about things and not just read the textbooks. That is going to help when we are working in the field,” he said. “They know that we can always do better and want us to be the best we can be when we graduate.”
The scholarship, donated by California-based BayWa r.e. Wind, is available to students from Fisher, Kent and Stonewall counties to study Wind Energy Technology. The scholarship is named for the Amadeus Wind Project, which will encompass land in those counties.
TSTC’s Wind Energy Technology program offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion at the Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses.
For more information, visit tstc.edu.