‘Computer geek’ hopes to use talents for a career
Moffat County senior Mike Mascarenas is a self-described computer geek, right down to the calculator watch on his wrist.
“This really has nothing to do with computers, but it did save me in algebra my freshman year,” he said of the watch. “But when people see I have a calculator on my watch they think it fits me pretty well.”
If there’s a computer problem in the high school, Mascarenas the guy teachers and students call for help.
A teacher even interrupted Mascarenas during a newspaper interview to ask him to locate some computer supplies.
“I’ll be walking in the hall and somebody I don’t know will ask me to look at their computer,” he said. “I’ll have people ask me computer questions on MSN messenger and that will be the extent of our conversation.”
His reputation has caused teachers to hire him to fix their personal computers at home.
Mascarenas’ love for computers started when his grandpa let him play his Commodore 64 when he was 6 years old.
“I’ve been interested since,” he said.
It’s rare for his generation to know about computers before the Windows era, but Mascarenas is familiar with what it took before the revolution.
“Computers have come so far since then,” he said. “They’ve gone from using a line of command to move a dot to popping in a CD that will do pretty much anything.”
The past weekend he was at the regional track tournament in Grand Junction helping with the network of results.
“I’ll help whoever needs it,” he said. “Sometimes I help teach classes on things like Power Point at the high school.”
Outside of his technical skills, Mascarenas said he has a GPA of about 2.6.
“English is definitely not my thing,” he said. “I like to make things that are useful.”
Mascarenas hopes to make a career out of his knowledge of computers. He took programming and multimedia design classes from Colorado Northwestern Community College during high school and he plans to attend Laramie County Community College in the fall because “it’s cheap and they have a good technical school.”
After LCCC he plans to attend the University of Wyoming to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer programming.
“I want to do something with programming, which at this point I don’t care if it’s either making kids games or designing operating systems,” he said.
His goal is to make enough money so that he doesn’t have to work in a fast-food restaurant again.
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