Motivated Midland College Automotive Technology Student Succeeds Despite Learning Disorders

Motivated Midland College Automotive Technology Student Succeeds Despite Learning Disorders November 02, 2021

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. Thomas Bolin

Midland College (MC) Automotive student, Thomas Bolin embodies Mark Twain’s famous quote, ”Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” 

“I have always loved tinkering with stuff,” Bolin said. “I enjoy seeing how things work and how they run correctly. My Dad used to be a carpenter, and growing up I helped him build houses. Now, I do a lot of hands-on learning every day in MC’s Automotive Technology program at the Advanced Technology Center. I get to meet a lot of new people, which is a great experience for me.”

Thomas Bolin excels at MC while living with dyslexia, a disorder involving difficulty in reading and comprehending, and dysgraphia, a disorder involving trouble with writing.

“My Mom was a teacher so she helped me a lot growing up,” he said. “I am from Monahans, and I ultimately decided to go to MC because it was close to home. Having dyslexia, it was easier being closer to home with my Mom so she could help me with my schoolwork if I needed it.”

“Thomas does not like school, and school has been very difficult for him in the past,” Bolin’s mother Kandace admitted.  “As a parent I can say MC has been an exceptional, exceptional thing for my child. When he took his first test his first semester and scored 100, I exclaimed, ‘Oh, print it and put it on the refrigerator!’ MC faculty and staff are so helpful, from the bookstore to the registrar’s office—everyone helped Thomas, no questions asked. This was an amazing experience since he was starting school during the very confusing time of COVID-19 in 2020!”

Thomas Bolin constantly sets himself up for success. He fondly remembers getting to class early just to connect with MC faculty, staff and students. Bolin talked a lot about how these interactions and friendships helped him excel in school.

“I did not know much about cars when I started,” he said. “I have to admit that at first I didn’t really understand what we were doing, but I got involved. I stayed after class talking to my professors like Mr. Pete Avalos. I would just get to know him better on a personal level, so it never even felt like I was asking for extra help. Whenever I caught on and knew what we were doing, professors like Mr. Avalos still stayed back and helped me because we knew each other better as people, as friends. This connection helped me understand course topics more clearly.”

“I cannot say enough about the professors; they are amazing,” Kandace said. “They give the students their phone numbers and say ‘call us if you need us’ and they mean it. Thomas completed an internship this summer at Atlas Sand, completely outside of school, and when he had questions, not even related to class, he texted his professors and they answered him back. I really think the technical side of things at MC is for people like Thomas who do not want to attend college, but they find their passion in a hands-on way.” 

Thomas Bolin completed and will continue his internship at Atlas Sand where he will work on ATV’s, trucks and heavy equipment. He has been able to apply and continue to apply the knowledge he has gained at MC to complete work on all the mobile equipment.

Bolin was not only motivated to get a summer internship and drive the two hours round trip for the four days a week he has class, but also is so driven and ambitious that he received scholarships from the Monahans community to pay for his entire schooling at MC. Thomas Bolin has enjoyed MC’s automotive program so much, he has a detailed plan for his future. 

“I have one more year in the automotive side at MC, and my plan is to go back and get my diesel license,” he said. “Then I am thinking about getting my airplane technician license to work on airplanes, too, so hopefully, I can work on anything that is diesel or gasoline.”

Bolin has important advice for others who may be suffering from dyslexia and dysgraphia:

“Do not be scared; take a step forward; get involved and try it out.   You do not know until you try at least once. Do not let a learning disability hold you back from the dream you are trying to chase because it can actually help you a lot if you let it. It can turn into an ability if you go into something you love. You can overcome hardships at MC no matter what it might be.”

MC Office of Institutional Advancement

Pevehouse Administration Building, Room 141
Midland College, 3600 N. Garfield
Midland, Texas 79705
(432) 685-4556


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