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Pathway: Transportation, Distribution and Logistics
Program: Dislocated Worker/Trade Adjustment Act Services
Location of Service:
Back in 2013 I knew the company I devoted myself to for over 17 years as a machine operator would no longer exist. I was filled with emotions from anger to loss. After all here I am an African American woman over 40yrs. old starting all over again. My dreams of retiring from the company were gone along with my freedom to dream of retirement. The saying “When one door closes another one will open” is true. It took me losing that job to finally finish a dream I longed for which was going back to school and get a degree. After meeting with Pauline Box my counselor I was on my way to do just that. Just one little problem she wanted me to also research some non-traditional options such as Aviation. Pauline believed in me before I did. She knew I could do it. I will say the first semester I was feeling out of my comfort zone. I really never held a ratchet let alone know what it was. I should say my first year was rough. I have been out of school for over 20 plus years and I had to hit the ground sprinting. I was hit with Physics, Trigonometry, Hydraulics, Sheet metal, Electricity, Generators and the list goes on! My teachers saw potential in me as well. They also encouraged me to push through it and not give up.
By my second semester I was ready for whatever the program had. My confidence level excelled through the roof. I was slowly breaking out of that “fear”. I just realized how really blessed I was to have this opportunity to learn a new trade, but also encourage more women to look into this field. I was filled with confidence that I was able to reach back and help students that were struggling with the courses. My last year I was able to hold a 4.0 G.P.A. to the end of the program. Having now received my A&P Mechanic License, words can’t explain the joy I have. I walked into an unknown field, but walked out feeling a part of a tight knit organization. I am so thankful I was given a second chance to get a degree. I am now working as an Aviation Electronic Technician making $19.20 per hour full- time and looking forward not to the past!