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Going to the next level

next level seniors

High school graduations are just around the corner. It’s an exciting time for students. Their entire school careers have led to this moment. 

“It’s nice to be finally done with it, but there is a lot out there to figure out. A lot of responsibility coming,” said Roosevelt High School Senior Damien Starr.

Seniors with NEISDway signStarr and his classmate Wyatt Hall have been on most of this journey together. They became friends in the Design and Technology Academy (DATA) magnet school program at Ed White Middle Middle School in seventh grade. DATA provides students with courses emphasizing Animation, Graphic Design, Digital Arts and Video Game Design. It’s that last one that sparked a passion with Hall and Starr.

“I liked the design options,” said Hall. “When I heard about the DATA program, I thought it was interesting. I am definitely going to miss the teachers. We met in Mr. Evans’ class. Mr. Hicks had a 3D Everything Club. Without him, I wouldn’t have gotten into video game design. We’ve had a lot of great experiences and projects.” 

To beat any good video game, you need a strategy. Hall and Starr have one. They plan on continuing their educational journey together. Both will focus on video game design at Northwest Vista College here in San Antonio -- for free.

students working on video gameAll NEISD high schools are part of the AlamoPROMISE, which covers tuition and required fees for students seeking an academic certificate or associate’s degree at one of the five Alamo Colleges.

“It’s a good way to get college experiences without spending as much money,” said Starr. “It helps you explore what you want to do. It just gives you a good chance to try it out. I am excited to see what all we will learn.”

Hall added, “I wasn’t interested in college initially because I didn’t want to get into a bunch of debt. You don’t need a college degree to go into gaming, but you need a portfolio; DATA has helped me start building that, and going to Northwest Vista will help me add to that. All of that combined should really help me get into the industry.”

We wish Hall and Starr the best of luck at the next level.

Evan Henson
posted on: 05/11/2023