Computer science major Nestor Guerrero is taking the non-traditional route of earning his degree and mapping out his future all while successfully raising a family. Guerrero enrolled in TCU after serving in the navy on the USS Nimitz. “My high school held our graduation in the TCU gym, but I never thought attending TCU would be in the cards for me. Getting the chance to come here thanks to the military has been a dream come true,” said Guerrero.
During his time in the Navy, Guerrero served as an aviation boatswain’s mate where he played a vital part in fueling naval aircrafts. While on the ship Guerrero traveled around several parts of Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Bahrain and the emirate of Dubai. Though Guerrero suffered through intense heat and difficult manual labor, he enjoyed having the opportunity to travel and serve his country.
After eight months aboard the ship, Guerrero returned from deployment. Shortly after, he suffered a severe back injury that required surgery. To his disappointment, his injury qualified him to be ineligible for reenlistment. While Guerrero waited in Washington to be discharged from the Navy, he reconnected with an old high school friend who would eventually become his wife. They have two sons; five-year-old Noah and ten-month-old Jude. Guerrero and his wife make it a point to take annual family trips back to Washington in the summers and Mexico City to celebrate Christmas with his wife’s family. Guerrero has found an affinity for travel from his time in the Navy and hopes these trips are able to instill the same appreciation for adventure on his children.
Guerrero and his family moved from Washington, back to Fort Worth in 2014, mainly so their children could grow up nearby their grandparents. Shortly after, Guerrero enrolled in TCU to pursue a career in computer science. “I wanted to be an electrician when I left the military, but due to my injury they told me it wasn’t an option because my back could not take the physical labor. So, they suggested computer science. I like math and I thought programming was pretty cool, and even better, I would be able watch my kids grow up by working from home if I needed to. I just saw I could do so many things with the degree,” said Guerrero.
Guerrero has integrated himself into the TCU community by being an active member and current Vice President of the Computer Science Society (CSS). CSS has provided Guerrero with the opportunity to meet students who not only share similar interest, but are somewhat of a support system as the students deal with rigorous courses and projects required of the major.
Juggling a family and building the foundation for a career can be difficult, but Guerrero has found that time management, family and being surrounded by the right people, such as his fellow CSS members, makes all the difference. “Time management comes down to how many people you have behind you – for me that is my wife, my father-in-law and my parents who will jump at any opportunity to help out with caring for my boys,” said Guerrero, “and when it is time to make the call between family or school, family always comes first.”
Once he earns his degree, Guerrero hopes to enter the world of data science. For now, he enjoys being a role model for his sons by enthusiastically attending school and teaching them to appreciate an education. When their children are old enough, Guerrero and his wife intend to move back to Washington permanently.