Current student’s career path change sheds light on strengths. 

Harrah High School student Lilly Gomez was introduced to Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center as a Sophomore Explore student and was originally drawn to the Pre-Engineering Program, but after a year of studying Pre-Engineering, she switched gears and enrolled in 3D Design and Modeling for the ‘23-’24 school year and as a result, has been exposed to new tools, gained new skills and was even recognized as a top student by her instructor based on her work ethic and attitude. 

  Gomez dipped her toes into the water at EOC Tech as a sophomore when she was able to choose from a variety of programs to “shadow” before attending during her Junior and Senior year. 

“I got to try out some of the classes early on, and Pre-Engineering stuck with me,” she said. “I studied Pre-Engineering my Junior year and then I realized I wasn’t exactly cut out to be an Engineer. I just felt like it was too difficult for me at the time.”  

Rather than let the feeling of defeat have the final say, Gomez chose to try a different program instead and followed one of the Pre-Engineering Instructors to the newly created 3D Design and Modeling Program for her Senior year – a program that covers the essential elements of Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD), using the same software as design and engineering professionals.

“We started off simple and had some hands-on projects earlier in the year that helped us get into the ‘design’ mindset,” she said. “It’s a lot of problem solving, and not so much a math or science side of it, which is why I like it more than Pre-Engineering. I’m still able to solve problems.” 

Gomez said throughout her year in the  program, she has worked to attain skills that allowed her to complete certifications such as Certified Solid Works Associate (CSWA), AutoDesk Inventor Certified User, AutoDesk REVIT Certified Professional and Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerance Technologist Certification. She said she expects to receive all of the certifications by the end of the school year and plans to attend EOC Tech next year as an adult in the Welding Program. 

“I don’t know exactly how to describe what I want to do in the future, but I think I want to be some type of Manufacturer,” Gomez said. “ I took the 3D and Modeling class because I knew it would be a good skill to have – and being able to design my own projects – I think it’s just an amazing thing to be able to do.”

Richard Boyd, EOC Tech’s 3D and Modeling Instructor said Gomez’s confidence has grown over the past two years and has no doubt she will succeed in whatever she wishes to do when it comes to her career. 

“Lilly’s work ethic is unmatched and she has begun to apply her creative way of seeing things to the engineering/technical tasks of designing parts in 3-dimensions,” Boyd said. “She is one of my brightest students who has a drive to succeed.”

Based on Gomez’s experience in Pre-Engineering and ability to shift her mindset to focus on her strengths and interests, she’s been a valuable asset to her classmates throughout her time as a 3D and Modeling student. 

“She can articulate her ideas in words as well as in drawings/pictures,” Boyd said. “Lilly has been able to help students get past their own hurdles by sharing her own experiences and failures.”

Gomez said she has noticed her mindset shift even outside of the classroom, positively impacting her life through her other endeavors. 

“I’ve been able to think more critically when it comes to my own business of mowing lawns during the summer or when I’m welding on my own at my house,” she said. “I feel like over the last two years, being so focused on solving problems at school, it’s changed my way of thinking and how I view the world around me.” 

Gomez said she plans on attending EOC Tech next school year as a 13th year student in the Welding program and if she can handle it, add in a few college classes so that she can earn basic credits but whatever her plans, Gomez is eager to continue learning and put her skills to use in the world. 

“Lilly’s future is bright and she will be successful at whatever she puts her mind to in the future,” Boyd said. “Be it working in the manufacturing industry or going to college to earn a degree.”

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