2011-12 Students

The 2011-12 term of MINDDRIVE consists of two class tracts:  Contemporary Communications where students learn presentation skills, storytelling through writing exercises, blogging, photography, & videography, website design, and social media.  The second learning tract is Automotive Design Studio where students learn principals and  concepts in math, science, technology, creativity and innovation. Both of these learning tracts are supported by professional, volunteer mentors and use experiential, hands-on learning techniques.  We limit our classroom time to about 25% of the total time spent together during a weekend session.  The other 75% is spent learning by doing.  This not only cements the concepts into their thinking, it connects the dots of why they need to learn these things and how it fits into the larger picture of their life’s goals and ambitions beyond high school.

Ryan Crawford

The youngest of the crew in MINDDRIVE, Ryan Crawford, is a freshman at DeLaSalle. He, like many others started his MINDDRIVE career because he was in need of something to do on Saturday besides sitting around the house. His interest was sparked when he heard about the communications class and how they learn to write blogs, interview people for bios and take pictures and videos. Since he wants to be a professional cameraman when he graduates from college (which is something he aspires to do) MINDDRIVE was the best avenue for his hands-on experience. Ryan describes himself as a “shy, funny, smart, deep thinker” who watches way too much TV and babysits a lot. The thing he is most looking forward to taking out of the class is the skill of socializing. With the money from his cameraman job he wishes to own a Ford F150 extended cab edition.

Samiya Farah

Samiya Farah joined MINDDRIVE in the fall class of 2011. She’s a senior at University Academy (Class Of 2012). Samiya joined MINDDRIVE because she wanted to try something new and because it seemed interesting. Samiya enjoys working with her classmates and interacting with the mentors. “I really like to learn from everyone around me and I like to learn more about each other.” With Samiya being in the Communication class she has learned the techniques of writing and the art of reporting. Samiya’s future career is to be a doctor and a Humanitarian, she enjoys helping people and giving them advice about their health.

I'Toya McConnell

SSSSSSSS-EEEEEEEEE-NNNNNNN-IIIIIIII-OOOOOOOO-RRRRRRR ! ! I'Toya or Toya Lynn is a returning University Academy Charter School SENIOR. She’s a very fun, friendly, and outgoing person. Toya became a member of MINDDRIVE because she wanted to learn more about cars and also because she needed something productive to do during the summer. She likes the fact that she gets along with every one and there is no “foolishness” like there is at school. Even though she has learned a lot from MINDDRIVE the most talked about things that have stuck in her mind are aerodynamics, rolling resistance, and the importance of drag. She loves the car in all its glories she likes the feminine “curvy” shape of the 2011 Project Reynardcar, the see through aspect, and the fact that it actually sort of looks like a real car. Toya has what we call "old school taste", not only in music but also in cars. Her two dream cars are either a 1987 Impala or a Rolls Royce Presidential. She has worked with kids mostly all of her life so it doesn't come a surprise that she wants to work with them when she gets older by being their doctor. Yes, that’s right! She wants to be a pediatrition. Outside of MINDDRIVE Toya lives a busy life - if she’s not helping out teachers and coaches after school or volunteering at Operation Breakthrough, she’s at home talking on the phone, watching movies, or hanging with her friends and family.

Elias Williams

Representing the CLASS OF MMXII is Elias Williams. He attends Lincoln College Preparatory Academy which is where he met Steve and became a member of this years class. Elias was preparing for a “mock” interview and he saw Steve and thought “that guy looks likes he could get me a job,” so he proceeded to tell Steve that he wanted to be a journalist as a career and Steve told him all about the MINDDRIVE class and Elias decided to join. Even though he isn’t really good at the math involved in science, one of his favorite things about the class is the science part of it and the family atmosphere that he receives here every Saturday morning. Throughout this learning experience he has learned a lot but the few things that stuck were “not knowing that there could be to different sized tires on a car, the aspect ratios which makes them look like the same size, pretty nice,” and that there’s a lot more to cars then he originally thought there was. “This year’s car is more of a street car to me, that’s one thing that i like another is the fact this car is going be a big deal,” those are the characteristics that he likes about the car. Elias isn’t all that interested in cars, which explains why his two dream cars are so simple. He wants to ride in a 2005 Yellow Chevy SSR or a 2011 Honda Odyssey. As already stated he wants to become a journalist with a legal degree just incase he gets into any sticky situations. A typical day for him outside of school/MINDDRIVE is SLEEPING! coaching his little brothers football team as the defensive coordinator, bugging his parents, and teasing his brother.

Cheyenne Albright

Light Bright, as we like to call her, Cheyenne Albright or "Chey" to friends and family outside of MINDDRIVE, is a senior at University Academy Charter School and decided to join the class because she likes cars and art and thought that it would be a fun opportunity to combine the two together. “Energetic, outgoing, crazy, smart and shy” are all words she and her close group of friends used to describe her personality. Although she isn’t quite sure yet what she wants to major in at college she does want to attend somewhere. She dreams of having a Camero of any year or model it “doesn’t matter as long as it’s a Camero.”

Rogelio Cuellar

A helper at heart, Rogelio is a junior at Alta Vista Charter School. Hewants to build robotics that can help people do daily life things. He joined the MINDDRIVE class because he figured it would be a good way to learn about things related to robotic engineering and he is very interested in math and science. You can imagine the joy that spread across his face when mentors Walt and Phil began a lesson over geometry and trig, and when he learned about tension and compression he felt like he was in heaven. His most recent accomplishment was finishing a new roof. I bet he wished he had his robot to help! Rogelio loves cars but his favorite aspects of a car are the speed and the looks and the customization you can put on one. So it comes as no surprise when he picks a Mercedes Benz as his dream car.

Kelvin Duley

Can we say SENIOR! Kelvin Duley will be attending De LaSalle this coming school year and will be a graduating senior. He’s a very funny outing person who speaks his mind whenever possible. MINDDRIVE became an option for Kelvin because he “wanted to try something new and gain a bigger interest in cars.” Although he joined the class to become more interested in cars his favorite thing about the class is getting to know the new people and interacting with everybody, basically he likes to have fun. While working on this car Kelvin has improved his knowledge of cars in general and learned about the importance of aerodynamics on a car. He either wants to drive fast or step out the back of his car like a celebrity. His two dream cars or either a Maserati or a Lincoln Presidential. Since one of his dreams is to be in the NBA guess he’ll get to step out the back of his Lincoln Presidential, but besides the NBA Kelvin just wants to get a college degree and become successful. Kelvin would love to come back to MINDDRIVE next year and be a teacher instead of a student.

Emanuel Gutierrez

Emanuel Gutierrez will be a returning sophomore at Alta Vista High School this coming school year. He’s sort of a quiet kid but very funny. He decided too become apart of MINDDRIVE because he thought it looked like a interesting project and something where he could have fun and learn at the same time, expand his knowledge of cars and all the inter-workings of them. Working on the car is the most active and fun part about the class to Emanuel. Out of all the lessons that we have learned the one that stuck most to Emanuel was the aerodynamics lessons and that’s because it is the one that reoccurs the most in all the lessons. Some parts about this year’s car that stick out to Emanuel are the fact that its green and the layer of shrink wrap that its going to have for a body. Emanuel is what we call a speed demon when asked what was his dream car he said, “I don’t know anything that goes fast.” He then went on to name a Ferrari and a Lamborghini. Although both the cars that he picked are by far not cheap he is not sure what he wants his career to be yet but he still has time to decide. If there happens to be a class next year you will definitely see Emanuel there in the shop working on the car because “it’s fun.”

Jelani Harris

A Junior at University Academy Jelani Harris or Lani is very excitrful outgoing person who loves to get to know everyone. She joined the MINDDRIVE class because she wanted a new experience and to have more to talk sbout then just her music. Yes thats right Lani’s our resident sing/rapper this year. Her favorite thing about MINDDRIVE is working on the car and making new interesting designs for the MINDDRIVE t-shirts and bracelets. While working on the car she has learned alot, like “aerodynamics is hard (lol) and the importance of measuring.” Characterisitics of this year’s car that interest her are the “pop of green,” the fact that its going to be see through “it’s sort of a MINDDRIVE trademark,” and the “feminine shape of the car.” Lani has expensive taste when it comes to cars she has to make sure when she pulls up all eyes are on her and her car. Her two dream cars are either a Bently or a Bougotti Coop. With such expensive taste she has to have some type of way to pay for them, she says that she’s going to buy them with the money from her career as a producer and a recording artisit. It’s a definite yes as to whether or not she will be in next semesters class or not. Outside of MINDDRIVE Lani spends her time try to find studios to practice her art, playing the piano at her dads house, and chilling with her friends.

Chandler Hiatt

Chandler Hiatt joined MINDDRIVE out of interest in building an electric car. His favorite things about MINDDRIVE are the car and meeting new people. One thing Chandler learned about cars is how they run. The characteristics of this year’s car are the speed of 60 mph and also the aerodynamics. Chandler is a sophomore at Kearney High School; his dream car Is A Mercedes. He Wants To Become A Medical Surgeon. Chandler would like to major in Political Science. A typical day out of MINDDRIVE for Chandler is motor racing, football, and also hanging out with friends.

Daniel Hungerford

“Stay tired and laid back.” Those are the words that Daniel Hungerford aka “Danny” used to describe himself in his interview. For a person who stays tired, Danny continues to pile on the work into his busy schedule. He is a sophomore at University Academy Charter School. He decided he wanted to be in the MINDDRIVE class because he wants to be an engineer. He is very interested in aerospace or the things that fly in space or coming out of space. In the short amount of time he has been here he has enjoyed the fact that he is learning about electric cars. After high school, Danny wants to go to college and play university sports, his favorite hobbies of course include working out and football. He says his first dream car would be a Monte Carlo SS.

Charleigh Lona

Charleigh is our second student that comes from Lincoln College Prep Academy. Her father's business is the Lona Brother's Auto Paint. They work on low-riders and her interest in cars stems from growing up around the shop.

Javier Medina

Javier joined MINDDRIVE as a junior from Alta Vista High School and immediately took to building the Lotus and getting ready for the Coast To Coast trip. He was so excited to be in San Diego and went into the ocean with all of his clothes on! He said that he might actually want to live there someday.

Victoria Mendez

From Alta Vista Charter High School, Victoria Mendez joined MINDDRIVE after being introduced to it by her school counselor. Victoria a 10th grader aspires to be a tattoo artist one day and hopes to work on cars as a hobby. One day she wishes to own a Cadillac Escalade “No particular year, Just an Escalade.” She simply put it. Victoria says she has learned a lot during these Saturday classes and the thing that stuck out the most to her was the mechanics of the wheel. Victoria is “Interested in cars and open to anything.” A quality that is needed when working on such innovations as the electric MINDRIVE car.

Christana Moore

Awww, Snap! Class Of 2012!!!!! This Is Christana Moore, Student Of University Academy Charter School. She is a wonderful and outgoing person. She loves to have fun ALL THE TIME! “Lol” The reason she joined MINDDRIVE is because she thought that learning about aerodynamics would help her in her pursuit of joining The Marine Corp. That is her future career and she would also like to study music therapy. Christana’s favorite thing about a car is the speed. “Oh Lord!” She likes many different cars but her dream cars are a Range Rover, a Jeep, and a Mercedes Benz. Her favorite thing about MINDDRIVE is learning about cars.

Emilia Padilla

Emilia is currently a student at Alta Vista Charter High School grade: 10th grade The reason Emilia decided to take the MINDDRIVE class was because she wanted to have experience with an electric car. Emilia’s favorite thing about MINDDRIVE is the whole ideal of this program. Her dream car is a 1964 Chevy Impala. Emilia says for her career she wants to own her own businesses. One of those businesses is to own an Auto Body Shop and the other business is a Party Throwing Company.

Christiane Parker

A Junior at University Academy, Her name is Christiane Parker. She is a very nice person, layback and outgoing. Even with her fashion nails, she loves to get in there and get her hands dirty! Working on cars is fun!

Huyi Rodriguez

Huyi Rodriguez is a junior attending Alta Vista Charter High School. MINDDRIVE has helped him break out of his shell. He joined the MINDDRIVE class because he wanted to better himself and raise himself and his communication skills to a higher level, he also liked the fact that he could meet new people and have new experiences. He likes working with one of our mentors Mike on wielding for the frame of the car and getting together in this community of MINDDRIVE and having fun with all the students and mentors. He has learned a lot from this year’s class like it takes more force to start a car and get it moving then it does when its already in motion. Some characteristics of the car that he likes are how aerodynamic it is, the fact that he believes “it looks like a spider-man web in the front, “ and the green color that it has. Huyi is a classic car type of person. His two dream cars are a Bugatti or a Mustang it doesn’t matter what year to him they’re all the same. He has a lot of expectations for his future and what he wants to become as an adult. He wants to be a philanthropist, helping young children around the world with school supplies and things of that nature. He enjoys boxing, making cars and racing. Paul Robert Smith Paul Robert Smith is our only member here at MINDDRIVE from Center High School, but that doesn't stop him from being the person he is so inclined to be. "My friends describe me as: Influential, a natural born leader, laid back, and just an all around chill person." He said. This "cool" student joined the organization in the 2011-12 semester and was introduced to the program by a friend of the family. "Sheila Cain told me about MINDDRIVE" he said. "Once I had learned and seen what they were doing I thought, 'I have to be a part of this.'" His favorite thing about the program is the way the mentors teach the students. "It's all hands on, I love that, being able to feel my work." When Paul grows up, or reaches the million-dollar mark, he wants to own a Ferrari Enzo, whatever year, and the new Maybach 57. For the natural born leader he is, these opulent buys will suit him well.

Ehiner Torrijas-Perez

“Ever since I was little I have been fascinated by cars.” Ehiner, commonly referred to as “Doofy”, answers to why he joined the program. Recruited by Steve Rees from De La Salle Charter High School (The birth place of MINDDRIVE) Ehiner is a 10th grader who joined the projects automotive department this summer. His favorite part about this 18 week experience is learning about cars and, meeting new people and socializing. Something that comes natural to this talkative character. “The most interesting thing I think is that we recycled a wrecked car.” “We’re making it electric.” Were his comments about the car and the building process. Ehiner wants to take his gift of gab to the court room and become an Immigration lawyer to “help those seeking a better life.” Of course he wont stop loving cars. Wanting to work on them on the side and one day own his dream car: “a 1975 cream colored Chevy Impala low rider with white leather interior and black rims.”