Alumni Spotlight

Class of 2010


Paola Solanes and Alan Banuelos

Debra Solanes, 26 a local graduate from this high school has successfully completed her college education and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from UTEP, and now she has begun a doctoral degree.

“I can say that my Bachelor’s degree as a whole was probably the biggest accomplishment, struggling through all the pressure of exams and socializing. It is an experience that I cherish and keeps pushing me to further my career and make an impact in aerospace technology,” Solanes said.

Currently she is enrolled at UTEP in order to get a doctoral degree in Mechanical Engineering focused on cooling systems of rocket engines. As well as a research assistant at the university consisting on optimizing the cooling channels rocket engines already have.

“We want to improve cooling efficiency not only for aerospace engineering, but for all technology such as phones, computers, manufacturing, etc.,” Solanes shared, “It’s exhilarating knowing that my work will have an impact on the whole world, but of course no pressure,”.

While in high school she had no certain idea of where life would take her, however she knew that all the skills and values that she learned from the community and  the school would be so helpful as she went on in life.

“I think being at Bowie gave me all the fundamental skills to be able to succeed. The culture of welcoming everyone and hard work helped me move forward towards expanding my career,” Solanes said.

After graduating high school, Debra was offered several opportunities such as getting an internship that gave her the opportunity of traveling to Zambia in Africa, which helped her focus in what she wants to accomplish in the future and in the preparation needed.

“I have so many goals, but involving my career I want to make all my research have an impact in my country, the world and space,” Debra said, “The most important thing I will need is hard work, when it’s late at night, when I’m tired or frustrated because I see no progress I have to keep pushing. That is what will make these goals possible. And lots of reading and more reading,”.

Solanes has seen so many things and lived many experiences, yet she focuses in what is most important and valuable.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which can change the world. 30 years from now it won’t matter what shoes you wore, how your hair looked, or the phone you bought, what will matter is what you learned and how you used it,” Solanes said.