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Wednesday, 11 October 2017 20:15

Techs of Tomorrow: High School Student Shares Plans for Future amidst Hurricane Harvey Recovery

Written by Victoria Antonelli
Cameren May Cameren May

Kingwood Park, TX, native Cameren May discovered his love for “anything with a motor” when his dad brought home a 1981 Firebird for them to work on just two years ago.

Now 17 years old, May is enrolled in the auto collision program at Kingwood Park High School, located in greater Houston. 


Jeff Wilson, an instructor at my high school, came to me my freshman year after he found out about me rebuilding the Firebird with my dad,” May explained. “He knew my family through the Kingwood Park FFA program, and he talked to me during my AG class one day about his auto collision program.” 


According to Wilson, May holds I-CAR certifications in both non-structural and refinishing. He is also OSHA and 6-H trained and certified. 


“Cameren is an outstanding young man both in and out of school,” said Wilson. “He is a student with impeccable ability and talent, and his collision and refinishing skills are truly a sight to see.” 


May said his favorite project so far has been refinishing the Harley Davidson tin set during his spring semester in 2017.


“I found metal forming and laying Bondo [to be] the most challenging,” he added. 


In addition to his involvement with the Kingwood Park FFA program, May also helps his parents with their horse boarding facility.


“I’m also very involved in my youth group at our church,” May said.However, May and his family’s lives were turned upside down when Hurricane Harvey, the wettest and one of the most destructive tropical hurricanes on record in U.S. history, made landfall in Houston just three weeks ago. 


“Hurricane Harvey affected my family considerably. We lost pretty much everything on the first floor of my house,” he said. “We lost my Mom’s 2015 GMC 3500, my Dad’s 2015 Chrysler 300 and my 1982 Chevy Silverado C-10.”


May added that his home retained a total of 18 inches of water, while lower areas of his family’s 22-acre property were 10 feet under water.


“We lost our tractors, a zero-turn mower, a Swisher weed eater and much more,” he said.  


May said that the Monday morning of the hurricane was when their property received the bulk of the damage.


“Around 4 a.m., the water had risen 3 feet overnight and was already in our barn. By 7 a.m. that morning it was up to my calf, and at 1 p.m. it was up to my waist,” he explained. “By that night, our house had water and the barn had 4 feet in it.”


May and his family are still in the recovery process, and expect a long road ahead before their property is back to normal. Luckily, May’s high school, Kingwood Park, received minimal damage, but is still in need of supplies (please see the sister article on Jeff Wilson for more information).


As for future career plans, May said he wants to join the U.S. Coast Guard or the Texas National Guard sometime in the fall semester after he graduates high school. 


“My dream job is to own my auto collision / mechanic and custom paint shop someday,” he added.

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