For This CNM Automotive Student, Fixing Cars Is His Way to Help the Community

John Aragon wanted to get a degree in something that would not only have an impact on him, but an impact on others as well
October 25, 2022

Back during the 2021 Fall Term, John Aragon was working on his prerequisites at CNM while trying to decide what program would be the best fit for him. He wanted to learn a trade that helped others and repeatedly noticed the shortage of mechanics every time he took his car to be serviced. 

Fast forward to the present, and John is well on his way to a successful career as an automotive technician. 

John quickly fell in love with the trade and demonstrated a strong work ethic in class. As a result, CNM instructor Curtis Garand nominated him for a prestigious internship with Albuquerque Fire and Rescue (AFR). 

“I go in once a week for about eight hours,” John says. “While I’m there I do everything from washing the vehicles to shadowing the techs to see how to work on the diesel engines. The techs are so helpful and have shown me how to do so many things step-by-step.”

What was supposed to be an eight-week internship has stretched past the deadline and is now an ongoing part of John’s education. As he continues with Albuquerque Fire and Rescue, John will achieve the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) requirement of 200 hours of experience. He will also have one year of technical education, which qualifies him to receive his ASE certification for an entry-level position. 

John knows he’s earning his degree and certification through hard work, but he also credits CNM for creating the foundation. 

“CNM has really opened the door for me,” John says. “If I hadn’t enrolled, I wouldn’t have known where to start in finding the right path for me. I wanted to make something of myself, and with the help of the staff and all of the other resources at CNM, I have been put on the right path to a great career.” 

John is almost done with his Automotive Technology certificate and wants to get his associate degree in Automotive Technology as well. The associate degree will further expand his knowledge of the industry, and he wants to apply all he’s learned to help his community. 

“My main goal is to become a diesel technician,” John says. “My internship with AFR is motivating me to work for the city or county. Those technicians are the backbone for the transportation that then goes and helps others, and I would love to continue to be a part of that in the future.”