2S0A3293 372x451 - TSTC student’s experience at Chick-fil-A fuels future goals

(RED OAK, Texas) – “‘Greatness from small beginnings’ — that’s my favorite quote,” Texas State Technical College Diesel Equipment Technology student Ki’sean McRae said.

Recipient of a Chick-fil-A scholarship given to some of the company’s employees, McRae is using his time working at the restaurant, and his time as a student at TSTC, to fuel his goals and create a foundation for the future.

When McRae received the Chick-fil-A scholarship, he said it came at a much-needed time and he was grateful for the support.

“The whole premise of (the scholarship) was, ‘Since you work here, and we see the work you do, we want to progress you,’” he said. “‘(We) understand that Chick-fil-A will not be your only foundation, or your only job, but we still appreciate you for what you’ve done, so we want to help you during your college journey.’”

Growing up with a father who knew a lot about cars, McRae was always interested in learning about how they worked. 

But McRae said it was his negative experience with some auto mechanics who never truly fixed his car that brought him to the Diesel Equipment Technology program at TSTC.

“I want to learn how to fix cars and do it right the first time,” he said.

Following graduation later this semester, McRae plans to work on gaining more experience so that one day he can open his own shop.

“The biggest thing I want to put in my business is that Chick-fil-A kind of attitude,” he said. “It (has) never hurt anybody to learn (about) the person, saying, ‘How are the kids doing? How’s your dog?’ It’s crazy, but the little two-to-five-minute conversation changes a lot, and that’s how I want my business to run.”

McRae continued the sentiment in talking about the type of work ethic he hopes to emulate.

“My mom’s greatest quote that I will always live by (is), ‘Do what you have to do so you can do what you want to do,’” he said. “At the end of the day, though, make sure you’re doing it well … and make sure what you have to do is done. Because even though it might not affect you, it might affect somebody else.”

According to onetonline.org, jobs for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists were expected to increase 19% in Texas from 2020 to 2030. Such technicians employed in the state earn an average annual salary of $50,970, the website stated.

Diesel Equipment Technology is available at TSTC’s Fort Bend County, Marshall, North Texas, Sweetwater and Waco campuses. Depending on campus location, the program offers Associate of Applied Science degrees with different specializations, as well as several certificates of completion.

The program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee program. If a participating graduate does not find a job in their field within six months of graduating, TSTC will refund their tuition in full.

For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.

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