Curious Minds

Student Success Story

By Jenny Faubert

Left to right: Lee Mueller, Director, Coyne American Institute; Francisco Gomez; and Ricky Moore, Sr. H.S. Admissions Representative.

As young men, Francisco Gomez and Miguel Orozco wanted to know how things worked. Often they wondered, how does a radio or toaster operate? To find out, they would sometimes take things apart to see and put them back together, not always in the same working condition. While their mothers may have tried to discourage them from dismantling all the appliances in the kitchen, this curiosity is what fueled their passion to work with electricity.

Francisco and Miguel, recipients of the 2008 Imagine America Promise scholarship, attend Coyne American Institute in Chicago, IL. Miguel chose Coyne for several reasons. He knew someone who had attended and got a good job after graduating, which was very enticing to Miguel, but what impressed Miguel the most was the hands-on labs he saw at Coyne. He knew that by attending Coyne, he would learn about his field and then apply what he learned.

Francisco felt that Coyne would be a great stepping stone for him to go on and get his engineering degree. Graduating from high school with little to no work experience in his field, Francisco understood it would be tough to get a job. Knowing that he had to work while obtaining his engineering degree, Francisco chose Coyne as the first step in his dream of becoming an engineer.

“Francisco and Miguel took the financial assistance we initially provided and did something fantastic," said Robert L. Martin, president of IAF. "These are the types of students we have in mind when we talk about helping the next generation of leaders meet their career goals. That’s what the Imagine America Foundation is all about."

Despite having to work and go to school, Francisco and Miguel continue to excel academically. Both have maintained 4.0 GPAs while working toward their degrees. Francisco is studying to become an electronic systems technician, and Miguel is working toward a degree in electrical construction and maintenance.

“Francisco stands out from the rest of the students due to his attention to detail. He completes his homework, sits in the front of the class and is always wanting to learn more. One word to describe this student is dedication,” said Arthur Cofield, instructor of telecommunications, fiber optics and low voltage cabling.

Left to right: Lee Mueller, Director, Coyne American Institute; Miguel Orozco; and Ricky Moore, Sr. H.S. Admissions Representative.

As the first in his family to work toward higher education, Miguel found that Coyne helped him understand the financial aid process. “Without their help I would have been lost,” said Miguel. Upon hearing he had received the Promise scholarship, Miguel was so happy because he still needed money to pay for school and this helped out him out a lot.

When asked what advice he would give other students in his position, Miguel said, “Start early and don’t worry about the money. If you have passion to do something, than you should do it. I admit I was afraid to go to college because I was just an average student in high school. I’m still amazed at how well I’m doing here. If I can do it, anyone can.”

Congratulations to Francisco and Miguel and all the other students from 34 different schools who received the 2008 Imagine America Promise scholarship. These students have exceptional grades and have shown a strong commitment to their current program of study. In order to be eligible for the Promise scholarship, applicants must maintain a 3.5 or higher GPA and a 95% or higher attendance rate.

For more information about Coyne American Institute, please visit For more information on the Imagine America Promise program, click here.