For 15 years a typical day for Jesus Botello Jr. consisted of working in fields along the East Coast with a harvest crew who gathered blueberries, but the father of three wanted a new career close to his family.
Botello has now gone from harvest field to field technician, making his dream a reality. On August 19, he will be one of 11 students graduating from Texas State Technical College in Fort Bend County. He will be receiving a certificate in Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning.
Botello’s family owns the farming and harvesting business he worked for in the past, but he said when he left to pursue his own interests, he got nothing but support from his family, wife and children.
“My family really encouraged me to go back to school,” said Botello. “I was tired of being away from my wife and kids for long periods of time, so everyone knew I needed the change and I needed to come home.”
The Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning graduate is already working in the field with Comfort Custom Air out of Rosenberg. Botello was offered the position as a HVAC technician three weeks before completing his program.
“TSTC has changed my life,” said Botello. “I’m able to be with my family now and I have a new career that I love. I feel like I’m in the right place.”
The Needville native’s first experience with Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning was when he began his classes at TSTC in August 2015. He said although he had never worked in the industry, it was always something that peaked his interest.
“I’ve always been interested in how these systems work, their design and technicalities,” said Botello. “Plus, everyone in Texas needs central air and heating.”
Botello said he credits his current success on the hands-on training and education he received at TSTC. He described his college experience as the perfect fit for him.
“Coming back to school and being the oldest in the class was not easy,” said Botello. “But the learning approach with hands-on techniques is what I needed to be successful.”
Heather Hogan, owner of Comfort Custom Air said they have been impressed with Botello’s skills and desire to learn. She said she has heard nothing but praises from her other HVAC technicians.
“I’ve been hearing that he is a quick learner and will have no problem being out on his own very soon,” said Hogan. “Part of this is what first attracted us to hire Jesus. He’s doesn’t mind working hard and he’s determined to learn all he can about the industry. He’s been the most prepared recent graduate we have hired, and a lot of it has to do with the training he received at TSTC.”
Botello said he has high hopes for his future. He said he has really admired and looked up to his instructor Keith Klix for his experience and positivity in every situation.
“Mr. Klix has really been so helpful and I hope to be like him someday,” said Botello. “It’s because of him and the training I received that I’m able to dream about owning an HVAC business someday.”
At the end of the day, Botello said he hopes he can excel enough in his field to someday teach at TSTC.
All Fort Bend graduates will be the last to graduate from the TSTC location at Wharton County Junior College. Commencement will be August 19 in Waco at the Waco Convention Center at 6:30 p.m.
For more information on the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning program at TSTC call 832-595-8734. The new TSTC campus in Fort Bend County will open August 29.