BRIGHT FUTURES — Port Neches-Groves’ Landon Proenza has always been revved up for success

Published 12:30 am Tuesday, March 28, 2023

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PORT NECHES — Landon Proenza picked up his love for cars at an early age.

The Port Neches-Groves High School senior grew up helping his grandfather, Oscar Proenza, work on Mustangs.

That love of engines is what leads him to want to major in mechanical engineering. He plans to attend Lamar University and earn a bachelor’s degree, get a job then work on his master’s degree.

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Muscle cars

There’s just something about being around cars that resonates with Proenza. He owns a 2013 Mustang and said the first thing he did was listen to the sound of the car. It’s that feeling that connects him with the car.

Proenza’s grandfather owns a 1969 Mustang, and the two take the vehicle to various car shows. Just recently the car earned two trophies at a show in Beaumont.

Landon Proenza plans to major in mechanical engineering at Lamar University following graduation. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Academics and sports

Being able to work on engines and wanting to major in mechanical engineering align with the high academic standard that Proenza sets for himself. He is a member of the National Honor Society and Trusting Real Indians by Encouragement (T.R.I.B.E.), a campus leadership organization.

He was previously on Student Council but it became a bit too much on top of what he currently has on his plate. He’s focusing on cross country and soccer and volunteers with Blue Santa with his father, who is a Beaumont police officer. Proenza also works three days a week and maintains good grades.

He described how he juggles all he’s working on.

“You’ve just got to keep studying, make sure you’re on point, “Proenza said. “I have anxiety if I don’t have an A. I get stressed, so I make sure I’m studying and trying to get the best grades I can.”

He credits his parents, Jamie and Justin Proenza, for pushing him to get good grades but said he also pushes himself.

John Guerrero, PNG automotive director, spoke highly of Proenza, saying his engagement in class as well as in the shows demonstrates his positive attitude and high maturity level.

“He has a competitive nature and he will never let up until the job is finished,” Guerrero said. “He sets himself apart in that way.”

Mentor & hobbies

The high school senior said he looks up to his dad as a mentor.

He said his father has been his coach and always helps him with homework and, as a police officer, is a person of authority.

“He’s always been a big person in my life,” he said.

When he’s not working on his grades or cars, Proenza enjoys horror movies.

“My favorite was Halloween because I’m really big into scary movies,” Proenza said. “My room is full of scary movie products. I have four different scary movie masks.”