Science and engineering education at Brooks is preparing young engineers for growing career options

“I graduated from BASE and now I’m the College and Career Readiness Counselor. I get to help students create a plan for their lives after high school,” said Mark Vargas.

Brooks Academy of Science and Engineering (BASE) provides K-12 STEM education to the South Side, with a special focus on hands-on science activities that inspire curiosity.

Mark chose to return to BASE as a way to give back to the community that has given him so many opportunities. He guides students, many of them first-generation college students, to find post-grad options that work for them, from entering the workforce to applying to medical school.

A lot of these students are scared and it can be daunting, but we’re living testaments that it can be done,” he said. “It takes some work and some initiative, but there are a lot of people that can help.”

For BASE Principal Bonnie Salas, her hope for her students after graduation is to be satisfied in whatever it is they choose to do. 

“I want them to be happy adults that are able to provide and give back to our community,” Bonnie said. 

Bonnie and Mark encourage their students to explore the growing list of career and education options in the Brooks area, whether that’s attending the University of Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine or Palo Alto College, or working at one of the great companies in the area, like HOLT, Cuisine Solutions, Mission Solar, or OKIN BPS.

“We’re shaping these junior engineers to work in the businesses going up around if they choose,” Bonnie said. “Whatever direction they go in, there’s a way to use their skills on the South Side.”

When Mark works with his graduating seniors, he urges them to design a direction for their life. He knows he’s done his job if his students can show him the plan they’ve laid out for themselves.

And at Brooks, it’s getting easier all the time to aspire to a successful future.

“There’s a reason people keep coming to Brooks. It’s a true success story, and it’s just the beginning,” Mark said.

The future is bright at Brooks

Learn about all the education options located at Brooks.