21 March 2024

Embracing the Unexpected

Growing up in Sugarland, Texas, life was a challenging yet transformative journey for me. Raised by a hardworking mother who worked multiple jobs to provide for my sister and me, I witnessed firsthand the power of resilience and determination. Despite facing financial hardships, my mother’s unwavering strength and work ethic instilled in me a deep sense of perseverance and self-belief. Her sacrifices and steady support became the guiding light that fueled my ambition and helped shape my values. 

I enrolled in Boy Scouts, which opened my eyes to a world of adventure and camaraderie. Through scouting, I discovered a love for the great outdoors and learned valuable lessons in teamwork and leadership. The Boy Scouts became a second family to me, providing a sense of belonging and purpose during my formative years. The principles of integrity, service and respect for nature, instilled in me through scouting, became the foundation upon which I built my character. I stayed active in the Boy Scouts for over seven years, but regrettably never completed my Eagle Scout.

As I grew older, the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” was a constant presence, and my answer was consistently and confidently, “An Engineer.” 

In high school, I was active in the technical side of the Theater Department. Running light boards and set design were my two favorite things to do. Despite these creative pursuits, I found myself struggling to maintain focus in my academics. This directly reflected in my class rankings as graduation approached. Rejections from major universities that I aspired to attend served as a wake-up call, prompting me to reassess my path and commit to hard work. I enrolled at Wharton County Junior College in Wharton, Texas and studied there for two years before my acceptance into the Civil Engineering program at the University of Houston. This period of self-discovery and growth taught me the importance of perseverance and resiliency in the face of adversity.

My childhood dream of becoming an Engineer was finally within my reach. Having completed my basics at Wharton, my first semester at the University of Houston was full of entry level Civil Engineering courses and one elective course that my counselor tried to talk me out of taking. The elective was called, “Intro to Surveying.” This was my first exposure to Land Surveying and probably the most influential class I had ever taken. It was this course that led me to changing my major to Survey Engineering Technology. 

Throughout college I worked full time as a plant vendor for Home Depot. I helped manage the ordering and stocking of plants, trees and shrubs for four different Home Depot locations. When I wasn’t working or studying, I was watching Case Keenum and the Cougars on the football field! Whooose Hooouse?!?

I graduated in the Spring of 2012 and landed my first Surveying job at a company called Tri-Tech Surveying, which at the time happened to be right next door to EHRA Engineering. I continued to work at Tri-Tech for a little over the next year where I evolved from an Instrument Man to a Party Chief. During this time and being right next door, I saw the EHRA trucks daily. One day, I was sent to do a couple of surveys to a neighborhood called Towne Lake. There, for the first time, I saw an EHRA Capped Iron Rod. 

Towne Lake was a project of magnitude like I had never seen. I was very much impressed. Over the next couple of weeks, I continued to travel down to Towne Lake until I crossed paths with an EHRA truck that had a “Now Hiring” sign on the back of it. I called right then and got connected to Charlie Kennedy, RPLS, the leader of EHRA’s Surveying and Mapping team. And in September 2013, I seized an opportunity to join EHRA as an Instrument Man. Over the next year, I transitioned into a Party Chief and continued to run a crew until I got offered an opportunity to make the transition to a Survey Technician in 2018. 

During my time as a Survey Technician, I embraced the opportunity to work under Robert Boelsche, RPLS, a well-seasoned EHRA surveyor and mentor. I absorbed as much knowledge from him as possible, and in November 2020 I obtained my Surveyors in Training Certificate. I continued to embrace all the opportunities given to me and in April 2023, I passed my RPLS Exam and became an official Registered Professional Land Surveyor.

Today as a Project Manager, I look back on my 15-year journey with pride and gratitude, knowing that every obstacle and opportunity have shaped me into the professional I am today. Change is only intimidating if you allow it to be. Embracing it allows our minds to remain open and keeps us from living in stagnation.  As I continue to navigate the twists and turns of my career, I draw strength from the challenges I have overcome and the opportunities I have seized. 
My story is a reminder that with perseverance, dedication and a willingness to embrace change, anything is possible.