My story starts back in July of 2010. I was a local (KC) painter making not much more than minimum wage barely surviving day to day. Life was hard at that time and I knew I need to make a change for the better if I was to be successful in this life.
After taking a family trip back to my family’s home town of Great Bend, Kansas - I noticed a few wind turbines in a field near the exit we take to get to GB. This sparked my interest in wind turbines and I caught myself thinking… How do these machines work? Is it a job in demand? How does one get to work on these?
When we got back home I started researching wind turbine technology and where I could go to school to become a wind tech. I had settled on a school in California and started to work out funding to attend that school (no tuition assistance was available from the school). It was at that time when my sister called and said “I just saw a commercial on TV for a school in Kansas City that has just started a Wind Turbine Technician program”. That was the best news I had in a long time! I went the next day to the North campus and met with an admissions representative, Sarah Griffin, and we talked about the program. She could tell right away that I was meant for the program and she helped me enroll in school.
While I was in school my little brother was killed while on the job. This put me in a “bad” place in my life and I was considering dropping out of school. My instructor at the time, Scott Battles, noticed that something was obviously affecting me and pulled me off to the side with another Campus Director. They had a long talk with me about what was going on and what they could do to help. They really put things in perspective for me and convinced me that dropping out should not be an option and that doing the absolute best that I could would make my little brother and my family even more proud of me.
I graduated from the wind program in June of 2011 and was the first and still only family member in my immediate family to graduate from college! A bunch of my family came to the graduation and if I remember right when my name was announced it was the loudest roar in the building but that might just be due to the fact that it was amazing to hear my name announced as a graduate.
Right after graduation I got a call from the career services person, Carrie Carpenter, and she said that she would like me to interview for a position with a third party contractor in the wind field. I came and did the interview and was then offered the job by a company out of Texas. I spent the next two and a half years traveling as a wind tech ending up on the major component swap crew replacing 27,000 pound gearboxes with 300 foot cranes. Major component replacement techs are the top of the chain when it comes to wind techs and I loved every minute of it!
That brings me to where I am now… Full circle now back in Kansas City working as the Program Coordinator for the wind program that changed my life in so many ways!
You want proof that PCI “Changes Lives” for the better! I am that proof! I would not be where I am today if it were not for a great family that has supported me along the way and great staff here at PCI that I truly consider to be my friend!
The picture above is of me on top of the first turbine I ever climbed! As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and this is no exception!