Everyone says that college is the place to explore who you are and discover what you want to do in life. It’s the place to cast your net as wide as it will go and see what catches. What isn’t communicated is that the net comes at a price. The price tag can be costly and time consuming. 

Thanks to de Zavala Middle School teacher Ms. Maria Hubbell and her focus on digital learning, eighth-grade students are casting their nets now and coming up with some cool career interests. 

Just ask Javier Villarreal, Manuel Viera and Chris Lopez-Ramirez. 

The Chef

Javier Villarreal is an aspiring chef. He’s had this dream for a while now. He remembers his mother cooking for him when he was young and is now bottling this nostalgia to become a chef. He hopes to cook meals for kids like his mother did for him. Villareal wasn’t quite sure what type of kids’ meals he wanted to cook until Ms. Hubbell’s Discovery Lab Class.

While Villarreal was doing research on biotechnology, he came across the term genetically modified organisms (GMOs). He learned about the impact of cooking with GMOs and the negative effects it has on the body.

This discovery encouraged Villarreal to focus on cooking healthy meals without GMOs for kids. 

“I want to cook meals that are healthy and delicious for kids,” he says. “The meals I cook will have alternatives to GMOs like naturally grown food that hasn’t been not modified.”

The Engineer

Manuel Viera is following in his father’s footsteps of becoming an engineer. His entire future has been mostly planned out. 

“I know where I want to go for college,” he says. “In fact, it’s already paid for.” 

But choosing a specialty in engineering can be overwhelming. 

That’s where Hubbell’s Discovery Lab Class came into play. While students were conducting research, Viera stumbled upon the biotechnology topic, cloning. The more he thought about it, the more interested he became. What if good things like animals, plants and food could be replicated for mankind. That’s when he made his decision. He’s going to become an environmental engineer focused on cloning. 

The Designer

Chris Lopez-Ramirez, a student in Ms. Hubbell’s Fashion Merchandising Class, is utilizing the Bulb Portfolio to jumpstart his career in design. The Bulb Portfolio is an online tool that allows users to create pages, upload images, store digital artifacts and much more. Now that Ms. Hubbell has introduced this portfolio to Lopez-Ramirez, he is excited to add his t-shirt designs and creative ideas to the platform. It’s just the tool he needs to get his business off the ground. 

“It’s a neat idea,” Lopez-Ramirez says. “The Bulb Portfolio will help me start my business.” 


Ms. Hubbell is extremely proud of these three students. They have used technology to define what their future looks like and have plenty of time to identify what they need in terms of university selections, industry certifications, networking connections and bachelor degree choices to get there.