Student Stories

People who have received scholarships while attending Houston Community College know firsthand how much a scholarship can help students complete their higher education.

Here are just a few of their stories:

"That free year of college was very helpful. I'm making good money now, and I don't owe anybody anything."

Rafael Granados, Automotive Technician
HCC Scholarship Recipient
Home: Houston

In one year, Rafael Granados went from being a Westbury High School student to a skilled worker with a promising future. By the age of just 19, he was already earning stable middle-class wages.

The key to Rafael's success? A scholarship to Houston Community College's Automotive Technology program, made possible by a generous gift from AutoNation.

Twelve months of paid tuition and fees along with a lot of dedication helped Rafael become a certified automotive technician. With his certificate and his marketable knowledge and skills, he quickly found a job with a prominent Houston auto dealership.

Like many of his HCC peers, Rafael is the first in his family to go to college. His parents have two younger children, and coming up with the money for his tuition and fees would have been difficult.

"That free year of college was very helpful," says Rafael. "I'm making good money now, and I don't owe anybody anything. "

This financial security will be a big plus as Rafael pursues his future goals. He can continue working while taking classes in the evenings. He hopes to complete his associate degree at HCC and then transfer to a university to earn a degree in engineering.

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