(HUTTO, Texas) – Matthew Barringer’s most prized possession is on four wheels and comes with history.
He owns a 1998 Dodge Dakota that belonged to his grandfather, who died when Barringer was in elementary school.
“That is the only physical memory I have of him,” said Barringer, a Hutto resident.
When it came time to choose where to go to college, Barringer said he knew a four-year university was not for him. He considered going into police work after graduation but decided to take his love of vehicles and make a career out of it. He chose Texas State Technical College’s Waco campus to study Automotive Technology.
“It has been the best decision I have ever made,” Barringer said. “I am so happy here. I like not having big student loans so I can make money right out of the gate.”
Barringer is a recipient of the Hutto Education Foundation’s scholarship, a joint effort with the city of Hutto and The TSTC Foundation.
“Since 2006, the (Hutto Education Foundation) mission has been to enhance educational opportunities for students and staff in the Hutto Independent School District through our grant and scholarship programs,” said Lizzy Samples, the foundation’s director of community education. “We are excited to partner with TSTC to provide for Hutto ISD graduates/TSTC students in their third and fourth semesters. With deep Hutto roots and with a TSTC hands-on educational experience, these students are bound for greatness.”
Barringer is using the scholarship so he can pay for the fall semester and not take out a loan.
“Here (at TSTC), I wake up and go to class, and I am ready to learn,” he said.
Barringer is a 2018 graduate of Hutto High School, where he played football.
“He is a great kid,” said Bradley LaPlante, the high school’s head football coach and athletics director. “He always had a nice souped-up truck in the parking lot that was always fresh and clean. With him being in the Automotive Technology program, I think that is right up his alley.”
In the spring, Barringer will do a program-required cooperative at a Hutto-area dealership. He wants to build on his interest in electrical work, learning from experienced automotive technicians.
Barringer’s goal is to stay in the area to work once he graduates from TSTC.
“For him, he is going to be successful at what he puts his mind to and what he wants to do,” LaPlante said.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.