Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series of articles that features accomplished Galt area graduates. If you are interested in being considered as part of this series or you know a GHS or LRHS graduate with notable accomplishments, career or otherwise, please email Faith Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org or Bonnie Rodriguez at email@example.com.
When it comes to tech, the big names are a few hours away in Silicon Valley. But Liberty Ranch High School graduate Julio Roque is keeping it local with his newly opened tech repair business, NextGen Tech Revolution, on Lincoln Way in Galt.
Roque always enjoyed video games but, when he got to high school, he had a chance to expand his knowledge of technology, not realizing it would be the catalyst for his future career.
“I was in Hawk Productions, which was the school tech club [and] class,” Roque said. “I was in that class all four years of high school. I learned a lot of what shaped my career from that class and [now] retired teacher Doug Floyd. He was my mentor and made a big impact on my tech career.”
Following his 2016 high school graduation, Roque started working in the tech department at Target and enrolled in classes at ITT Technical Institute. However, the school unexpectedly closed before Roque graduated.
“I lost all my credits and never went back to school, but instead got IT Certification that were job specific,” he said.
Roque left his job at Target and began working in Internet sales for Lodi Toyota. He worked at a few other dealerships before finally turning his attention back to the tech industry where he landed a management job with AT&T. After a year and a half of on-the-job learning, he decided it was time to strike out on his own. He decided he would open his own tech shop.
Along with his high school best friend and business partner, Joshua Bruckner, Roque opened NextGen Tech Revolution on Lincoln Way earlier this year.
“We offer all type of technology solutions; for example, cell phone repair, computer repair, tablet repair, [and] video game sales and repair,” he said. “Another popular service we offer is our in-home solution where a technician repairs your device in the comfort of your own home.”
Entrepreneurship, as it turns out, is nothing new to Roque.
“Being a business owner runs in my family,” he explained. “My dad owns a food truck and has been self-employed most of his life.”
Even so, the footwork that goes into opening a new business and reaching a point where there is a large enough customer base, to support it, is not for the faint of heart. Roque spends much of his day on social media, marketing and connecting with locals and business owners to get the word out about NextGen Tech Revolution.
“Being a business owner at the beginning of a new business is lots of long days. Most days I leave my house at 7 a.m. and don’t make it back until 9 p.m.,” he said.
But at the end of the day, the hard work is worth it for Roque as he looks forward to eventually opening more locations to service different cities in the area. Further down the road, he hopes to turn his attention to a second career following his other passion: becoming a police officer.
Roque is currently a volunteer with the Galt Police Department, starting when he was a sophomore at LRHS. After aging out of the Explorer Program, he was accepted into the CAPS Volunteer Program and now helps with traffic control and parking enforcement.
But, for now, he’s enjoying being a new business owner and having the chance to do what he enjoys at work every day.
“I love tech and video games. In my spare time, I build custom computers meant for high end gaming,” Roque said. “What I love about my job is that it is also my hobby.”