Class Acts: Angel Rodriguez gets “car-mania,” finds love with automotive technology

HOUSTON - Angel Rodriguez is living a life he never really dreamed of.

"I never thought I'd be studying in the United States. I never thought I'd be working on cars," Rodriguez said. "It never came through my mind as a little kid. I never thought I could build a car from scratch, it's really amazing."

A senior at Elsik High School, Rodriguez will be competing as the team leader in the Shell Eco-Marathon,. The auto-tech group known as "Elsik Blue Octane"  will compete at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan, April 27- 30. The students will compete with more than 100 teams from across the U.S.

"I make sure that things get done the right way,I've been working on the Shell Eco-Marathon for two years already," Rodriguez said of his role as team leader.

Rodriguez moved to the U.S. from Mexico in 2012 and credits the Elsik automotive group for helping him feel comfortable.

"Getting adjusted to a new society and language was difficult, but I got through it. The automotive technology program has had a great impact on my life. Now I know what I want to do and I can fight to be in the place I want to be," Rodriguez said.

The team is asking for donations to help with the competition. For more information and to see Blue Octane's progress, click here.