The school counselor at Cumberland Polytechnic High School describes Luis Mancilla-Vazquez, a 2022 graduate, as “sincere, mature, responsible, dependable and hardworking.”
Luis’ professors in industrial programming and 3D computer design at Fayetteville Technical Community College says, “As always, he performs above and beyond expectations.”
Those are not the only phrases used to describe this 17-year-old who aspires to one day start his own tech company. This year, Luis will be the first Hispanic male in the school’s history to graduate with an associate degree in engineering.
“I was surprised when I heard that,” says Luis. “But I think at the same time, it inspires others like me to pursue a degree in engineering at FTCC. I am truly honored.”
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One week after Luis crosses the stage with his diploma, he will begin an internship designing products using 3D technology at Rempac Form, a flexible foam and plastics manufacturing company based in Lumberton. Luis has also received offers from other companies in state that are eager to put his technology skills to work. He said he feels well prepared for the work that lies ahead.
“I definitely will say Cumberland County Schools has prepared me for my future,” says Luis. “One skill I’ve learned here is to stay on top of all of the things I need to do and to be organized. And I’ve learned a lot about teamwork as well.”
Even so, Luis will be putting his career aspirations on hold to attend N.C. State University in the fall to pursue a degree in computer engineering. Then he hopes to be hired at Intel or Apple and eventually return to school.
“I do want to get my master’s degree and eventually teach on the college level,” says Luis. “I really want to motivate others to follow their passions, especially other Hispanic males like me who have aspirations to enter the field of engineering.”
The soon-to-be graduate said his dreams and aspirations all came about because he searched for answers and was not afraid to grow during his high school journey.
“Ever since I was little, I would just take things apart, see how they worked and put them back together,” said Luis.
“And although it has been a lot over the years, it has not been so difficult that I did not enjoy it. Every day, every moment should be cherished. Every day is a reward or lesson that we can grow from.”
Editor’s note: This is one in a series of stories about the Standout Seniors of 2022 as selected by Cumberland County Schools.
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