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By Yadira Betances | Yadira@elmundoboston.com

BOSTON, MA — On May 13, Kevin Mendez will begin a tradition in his family by being the first one to graduate from college — Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology.

“It feels good knowing that I’ve accomplished something that will make my family happy and proud and be a good example for others,” said Mendez, 21.

Mendez said he chose the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology because they offer his major in electronic technology. He also took anthropology as an elective to learn more about the way of life of other cultures.

There were several other reasons including the small classes which gave him the opportunity to ask questions and talk to the professor on a one-on-one basis.

Another feature he likes about the school is how they prepare students for the workforce by offering interview prep and resume writing.

Mendez had a coop job at Gillette Company in South Boston in 2016.

“It was the best experience I’ve ever had because I was exposed to how they make their products,” he said. “I felt the same passion as I envisioned my future career would be like.”

Mendez said it’s no coincidence he chose electronic technology because he has always like working with his hands. Mendez remembers doing small repairs, fixing cell phones and broken screens.

“I challenged myself and put a lot of effort into it because I had a goal,” Mendez said of finishing college.

His dream is to one day to create an invention that would help countries that do not have updated technology.

“It’s always great knowing how things work and challenging because technology is always changing,” he said.

Méndez was born in Boston as raised in Chelsea. He is the second oldest of three siblings. His mother, Saira is from Guatemala and his father, Isaias is from Honduras.

He is bilingual and keeps his Hispanic heritage alive by eating rice, beans, tortillas, pupusas, balgadas and soup.

Mendez graduated from Chelsea High in 2015 where he played varsity cross country, track and field. He ran 400 mile dash, he was a substitute for 4×4 relay races.

In addition to studying, he works as a stock boy at Market Basket in Chelsea.

After getting his associate’s degree, Mendez said he will work before returning to school to get his bachelor’s degree.

“Education means everything to me. It’s going to open a lot of doors in my future,” Mendez said.

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