Name: Jose Pineda-Lugo
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Time in the U.S.: 4 years
Country of Origin: Valencia, Venezuela
“My family would describe me as a pretty laid back and positive person. I also try to be as friendly as possible with everyone. I’ve had to deal with different things in my life an there is always a solution. Keeping a positive attitude has helped me through tough times and helped me be where I am today. In 2012, I graduated from high school, and came here to visit family. While I was here, my uncle asked me if I wanted to stay. I said, “No”. I went back and while in my second semester, my university closed for 1 year and a half due to governmental issues with budget. My uncle asked me again if I wanted to come here for school and I said, “sure, I will try!” We figured it out and I ended up coming here in 2014. It was really hard in the beginning with my English being really poor. I met lots of friends who helped me, and I tried my best every time. My best friend’s family (he sharers the same name as me too), they have 10 kids who came here without a penny and now most of them are professionals or in college. It is pretty inspiring for me because when I start to feel tired, and want to give up, I think of them and it really motivates me.”
Jose is working towards his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and looking forward to graduating! He hopes to start OPT so that he can learn as much as he can in his field. He is currently considering a Master’s degree but is wanting to take things one step at a time. Jose is also very happy to have held two different jobs now, one when he was at Johnson County Community College where he won an award for Outstanding Student. He currently works as a Student Assistant at ISAO and is grateful for the experience.