JTHS Alumni Spotlight: Felipe I. Rodriguez Central H. S. Class of 2004
Career & Education At-a-Glance:
- Woodbury University – Bachelor of Architecture
- Southern California Institute of Architecture - Master of Design Research in City Design, Planning, and Policy Making
Joliet Central High School alumnus Felipe I. Rodriguez (’04) was inspired to become an architect in high school and he now gets to work doing what he loves out of San Francisco, California.
During high school Felipe participated in the Tech Prep program, allowing him to job shadow a different occupation each year.
The combination of mentoring and taking vocational/technical courses gave Felipe the opportunity to connect simulated vocations to real life practices.
Felipe expresses gratitude for all of his teachers throughout high school, each of whom inspired him in their own right. He especially credits his drafting instructor, the late Mr. Lehner, for instilling the value of discipline, “I developed my computer drafting skills because of Mr. Lehner’s influence to continually practice by hand.” Felipe emphasizes that technology is only as limited as we allow ourselves to think without it.
After his positive experiences at Joliet Central, Felipe went on to study architecture at Woodbury University in Southern California, in part supported by scholarships including the Ellery Frost Memorial Scholarship, the Tech Prep Scholarship, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. He went on to complete a post-professional degree at the Southern California Institute of Architecture.
After nearly seven intense years of higher education, Felipe has since enjoyed working on residential and commercial projects throughout the country’s West Coast and Midwest regions. In collaboration with local architects, Felipe has worked on projects such as Family Fun Zone, Jet’s Pizza, and Azteca de Oro. One of Felipe’s favorite aspects of architecture is to see a project evolve from something as simple as a sketch on a napkin to a building that people will occupy.
When asked what advice he offers to current high school students, Felipe says, “Go out of your way to research what you think you want to do and see how it works, but make it work for you.” Coming from a humble background, Felipe realized that opportunities were scarce and should always be pursued. He goes on to say, “do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do…it’s up to you to create your future.”