Kaelob Martinez has the hands of a young man who knows his way around a truck — strong, nimble and proudly limned with grease.
Working on big rigs is not only Kaelob’s job; it is his passion. He loves being able to lift the hood of a semi-trailer truck and know precisely what to do. Transmissions, drive shafts, flywheels — he likes nothing more than to take them apart and make them run smoothly.
Kaelob starts work at 8 a.m. and works into the afternoon — a schedule that leaves little time for the traditional school day. When he was a student at a traditional high school, it felt overwhelming.
Then he discovered Acceleration Academies of Ector County, where the flexible scheduling and personalized approach has made all the difference.
“I really appreciate that I can complete my courses and still keep my job,” says Kaelob, who — like many Acceleration Academies learners — needs the income to support himself.
Kaelob leaves work at 2 p.m. some days so that he can come to the EAA campus in downtown Odessa. A quiet young man, he settles into a comfortable cafe-style chair, opens his laptop and gets right to work. When he needs help from an educator, all he has to do is ask.
“Here I can work on my own and get help from teachers when I need it,” he says. “It’s just what I need.”