Gabriel Paz

It’s seldom difficult to find Gabriel Paz, a 2018 Omaha Benson High School graduate. Whether at Cornhusker International, Metropolitan Community College, or his home, Paz will be under the body, or under the hood, of a diesel truck or his vintage 1978 Monte Carlo.

Paz attends school full-time at MCC, and when’s not in class, he’s working at Cornhusker International.

“They looked at my class schedule, and then said when I’m not in class, I can come in to work at ‘such and such’ times,” Paz said. “When I’m not working or not going to school, I’m working on my car.”

By May, Paz plans to have an Associate Degree in Diesel Technology. As a certified diesel mechanic, he hopes to get a job in a Freightliner company in Corpus Christi, Texas, where his uncle is a foreman.

After gaining more experience in Texas, Paz hopes to return to Omaha to eventually manage his own company.

“I plan to save, open a shop, build myself up,” he said. “I don’t want to work for someone else my whole life. I would like to be my own boss and have my own place of business.”

Paz’s interest in mechanics started at an early age.

“My uncle Sean always had his own shop,” he said. “I always like taking this or that apart and putting it back together.”

With his career goals set early, Paz just needed the economic boost and the guidance to acquire the necessary training and educational background. Avenue Scholars Foundation stepped in with the scholarship and with mentoring.

“They have provided the tools, the scholarship, and the support that have given me a really good foundation,” he said. “Mr. Boyd [Benson’s High School Career Coach] was there to always steer me in the right direction.”