Where you are from? Guys Mills, Pennsylvania (about an hour south of Erie, Pa)
What sparked your interest in a career in the skilled trades? I have been interested in heavy equipment from a young age, and was exposed to working with various sized tractors, a skid steer, and a mini-excavator in middle and high school. I enjoyed the work and the variety of tasks that could be completed, and running heavy equipment is a lot easier than using hand tools. In general I prefer to work outdoors and to have variety in my day to day routine/work so operating heavy equipment seems a good fit for me. In addition, I have researched this type of work and am aware that there is a need for operators in the work force, the training is short and affordable, and the pay is good – so my education will not put me into heavy debt, and I will most likely have great opportunities in a field that pays well and provides work I will enjoy.
What school will you be attending? New Castle School of Trades in New Castle, Pa
What field of study are you embarking on? Heavy Equipment Operation + CDL
How did you hear about the 2018 Work Ethic Scholarship? I actually first heard about the Work Ethic Scholarship through a family member who had seen it on social media – from there, I did some online research to look into the requirements, programs where it could be used, and potential awards.
What area of Mike Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T pledge resonates the most with you as your pursue your new career? When I read through the S.W.E.A.T. Pledge, one statement that really resonates with me is #3, which says: “I believe there is no such thing as a ‘bad job.’ I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.” This rings true for me because I was raised to work hard from a very young age – at age 1 I was helping my family with firewood by gathering kindling and I started working in my dad’s tree service when I was in elementary school, mostly by dragging brush. Since then, I’ve done several different jobs, some of which I’ve liked a lot, and others I really did not like at all. The worst job I ever had still taught me a lot and made me realize that even if I don’t like the work itself, I can still benefit and learn from the job. For example:
- I have learned that I don’t like to work inside
- I have learned that I don’t like doing the same task over and over
- I have learned that who you work with can be just as important as what you actually do
And finally, I learned that whether I liked the work or not it still put gas in my tank and gave me spending money, which meant freedom!
Because of all these things, I would say that each of my jobs was a “good job” and great opportunity for growth!