(WACO, Texas) – Tyrez and Tyler Hines are getting used to the daily commute from their home in Mexia to Texas State Technical College’s Waco campus.
But Tyrez Hines admitted he was worried at first about the cost of gasoline.
“Once you pray about it and do what you need to do, you do it,” he said.
The brothers are in their first semester in TSTC’s Building Construction Technology program. They have the same schedule, which enables them to learn about college readiness, technical calculations and blueprint reading together.
“For me, I have always been good with my hands,” Tyler Hines said. “I want to know what the problem is, why it is happening and how to fix it.”
For Tyrez Hines, the decision about what he would study came down to looking at his future.
“I want to be able to fix stuff around the house,” he said. “I want to know how to fix anything people would have to call someone to fix.”
After graduation, the brothers want to stay in the Mexia area and have a home construction business.
The brothers are among more than 20 students from Mexia who are enrolled this semester at TSTC’s Waco campus, with some in the Diesel Equipment Technology; Electrical Power and Controls; and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Technology programs.
TSTC HVAC Technology instructor Gary Lawson’s ties to Mexia run as deep as the soil he steps on to coach youth sports. Lawson grew up in Mexia and proudly displays a Mexia Black Cats seat cushion and family photos in his office.
And, he is eager to use his position at TSTC to encourage students from Mexia to think about their possibilities after high school.
“I want to see every one of them succeed,” Lawson said. “I am coaching kids from about 4 or 5 to high school age. The kids in Mexia are resilient. They don’t need much to survive. They just need someone to be there for them.”
Lawson wants to be an example for students to see.
He attended Mexia schools until seventh grade, but he graduated in 2005 from Hubbard High School. After high school, Lawson worked for a five-generation, family-owned HVAC business in Waco.
He graduated in 2010 from TSTC’s HVAC Technology program.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.