Eric Pacheco – Class of 2002 • October 2017

For as long as I can remember, my family has been involved with St. Martin of Tours, attending Mass, group camping trips, volunteering, and generally keeping the place running.  Mom started working in the office when I started 1st grade, which only meant my brother, Matt, would be following me through SMA too.  Actually, he and I would both go on to St. Augustine and then Cal Poly Pomona to study engineering together in the years to come.  My parents did their best to keep Matt and I involved with activities around the SMA community.  We often volunteered or participated in music and art programs, but what I remember the most were the sports and class trips where everyone participated.

Keeping a small class size where we built friendships and learned together really influenced how I wanted to continue my education.  St. Augustine
continued the trend  and even when I went to college to study Aerospace
Engineering and Astrophysics, the trend continued.   Only after starting my career as a Software Systems Engineer in the commercial aviation industry did I really realize how all my education shared a social application with my workplace environment.  I was a member of several small teams on various products that facilitated the transport of software updates and flight data between the airline headquarters and their airplanes.  Similarly, many of those members also enjoyed the same hobbies I have, backpacking, mountain biking, surfing… so it brought the team together in a better way to get the job done.

I now work for the Department of Defense as a Computer Engineer, designing hardware for one of our missile systems.  Moving careers to the public sector has allowed me to pick up a second job as a Dive Pro at Channel Islands Scuba, where I lead dives and assist in the certification of new open water divers.  Looking forward, I plan to pick up a Master’s degree in either cyber security or directed energy weapon systems at the Naval Postgraduate School but for now I’m quite satisfied between scuba diving and a project overlander 4×4 build.

I’m thankful for the lessons learned at St. Martin and the support of its generous community.  I feel like I was able to gain the tools to be successful in the workplace and still make time to have other hobbies with friends and family.

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