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Cars and cameras

Your Dream is Our Dream: Max Rodriguez and Alex Chavez

Editor’s note: Your Dream is Our Dream: Celebrating Student Success brings you conversations with students about their dreams and the educators who ignite and inspire them. In a new series from School News Network, students from all levels of education share in their own words and pictures how learning connects them to achieving their goals and exploring their ambitions. An initiative of Kent ISD, Your Dream is Our Dream showcases student success and how teaching and learning help make dreams come true.

Kelloggsville — Alex Chavez is a junior at Kelloggsville High School, and Max Rodriguez is a fifth-grader at Central Elementary.

Alex Chavez, junior

What is your dream? What do you hope to do as a career or occupation? 

I want to open up my own photography studio. And one day I hope to be on the sidelines for the Super Bowl. 

photos by Alex Chavez

Why is this your dream? 

I like shooting sports photography, and I think I’m good at shooting sports. It can be hard though, especially volleyball. Here at Kelloggsville, I photograph everything. I go to prom. I go to homecoming. I go to every single event you can think of. It’s all volunteer, but I love it.

How are school and your teachers helping you achieve your dream? 

I make an impact in high school, so that’s why I want to do all this photography, to give something back and to leave a mark. This school has helped me so much. I started doing this last year, my sophomore year, because during soccer tryouts I dislocated my knee and I couldn’t play soccer, do anything. So then I picked up a camera, and after that it became my hobby, and I got hooked. 

Mr. Fron (Rob Fron, graphics and broadcasting teacher) has helped me a lot. He showed me how to hold a camera, how to change the settings and all that. And then he became impressed with my skills, told me I had a good eye and everything. After that, it all happened. He’s the main one.

Max Rodriguez, fifth-grader

Maxiliano ‘Max’ Rodriguez is a fifth-grader at Central Elementary

What is your dream?  What do you want to be when you grow up?

My dream is to make the fastest automotive production car in the world and start my own car company. So, I want to be CEO of my own car company someday. I want to be like the Swedish company, Koenigsegg. They make some of the fastest production cars in the world.

Why is this your dream?

My dad got me into cars when I was 2 or 3. He’s a mechanic. So I’ve been a car guy ever since. I can do a few things already: brakes, rotors, calipers, oil changes. My favorite movie is “Ford Vs Ferrari,” and I’d love to have a Ford GT40 like they raced at the 1966 Le Mans. My grandfather is a truck driver, and he and I talk a lot about cars. I’ve learned a lot from him too. I have a Mac Tools toolbox, and I like Snap-on tools.

What’s some of your favorite things about school and favorite teachers?

I like math a lot. If I want to start my own business, I need to know math. I like social studies too, and I like learning the history of things. Mr. Mac (Luke MacLean) is a great teacher. He listens to us very well. And he is easy-going. He doesn’t get frustrated.

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Phil de Haan
Phil de Haan covers East Grand Rapids and Kelloggsville and is the lead reporter for Grand Rapids. He hails from Exeter, Ontario (but has called Grand Rapids home since 1985) and is the son of a longtime public school teacher who taught both English and machine shop. Phil took both classes at South Huron District High School, but English stuck, and at Calvin College, where he met his wife, Sue, he majored in English and minored in journalism. His background includes both journalism and public relations, including teaching an advertising and PR course at the college level for almost a decade. In the summer of 2019, he began his own writing and communications business, de Haan Communications. In his spare time, Phil plays pick-up hockey and pickleball and tries to keep tabs on his two adult children. Read Phil's full bio

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