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WHS Architecture Student’s Internship Leads to Bright Future


He’s a junior in high school, but is interning alongside upper-level college students and holding his own quite well.

Wylie High School junior Andrew Casillas has secured the first Wylie ISD Career and Technical Education Architecture internship at WRA Architects Inc.

“Andrew is very visual and driven to make things happen,” Wylie High School Architecture teacher Sherry Olivares said. “He has a thought in his head and will find a way to put it on the computer.”

Students in the architecture program focus on architectural design, architectural drawing and drafting, planning, creating projects and much more.

Student speaks at meeting.

Wylie High School junior Andrew Casillas discusses the architecture program and his internship at the CTE Advisory Meeting. “WISD CTE Advisory meetings are a fantastic way for the school district to involve area businesses, parents, workforce labor organizations, and other community members in CTE planning and sharing updates,” Director of Career and Technical Education Jason Hudson said. “The committee members have assisted us with curriculum and student certification guidance, numerous special planning events, guest speakers, and student internships.”

Architecture students learn the software used by professionals, Autodesk Revit, then take the Autodesk Revit Certification exam. 

“Working in Revit Architecture Software is my gaming time,” Casillas said.

Rendering of a house.

The fourth year in the architecture pathway is Practicum of Architecture which requires students to intern within the industry. Casillas got a jumpstart on the practicum course. He secured an internship with WRA Architects Inc. in Dallas his junior year of high school.

Casillas’ first project with WRA was to design and model an early child development center for the Dallas Early Education Initiative.

“One of the lead Architects at WRA said that this project is something you would see from a college sophomore,” Olivares said.

Rendering of school.

The program is a document that explains what the clients want designed and how they want the site to be used.

“Right off the bat, we were faced with some challenges,” Casillas said. “The site is located off of Forest Lane and Nuestra Lane in Dallas. The program needed us to place the entrance of the school away from Forest Lane, as this was a safety concern for them. To solve this, we placed the entrance off of Nuestra Lane, and had all car traffic exit to Forest Lane. This is just one example of the challenges we had along the way.” 

Through his internship, Casillas has gained valuable experiences not just in architecture, but in life.

“I’m learning so much at WRA,” Casillas said. “Trying to accept criticism has helped me grow, not just as a designer, but as a person.”

Andrew presents to firm.

Casillas recently planned, executed and presented his internship project at WRA Architecture in Dallas. 

“This kid has a vision and makes it happen,” Olivares said. “I expect bigger and better things out of him after he graduates. He will probably design the next school for Wylie ISD.”