As part of Career and Technical Education Week, the Cass Career Center in Harrisonville, which serves students from throughout the county, conducted an essay contest.
Students were asked to expand on the question, What has career and technical education done for you? Following are the two winning entries from Cass County students:
I enrolled in the Cass Career Center because I enjoy working on cars and have always wanted to be an auto mechanic ever since I started to help my dad work on the farm tractors and fix the farm truck. At first I was just getting tools for my dad, learning the sizes, and once I figured those out I started using wrenches to loosen bolts. After that I had to take everything apart. Every toy or remote control car I had I took apart but I never put it back together. After a while of taking things apart I finally started trying to put them back together. At first that didnt work out at all, but eventually I could take them apart and put them back together again and not have extra screws and bolts left over. After I figured that out I started helping my dad even more, and learning what was causing the problem when the truck broke down (which happened a lot). That is why I enrolled into Cass Career Center in Harrisonville and I have enjoyed it from the very first day.
My career and technical training from Cass Career Center has prepared me for my future career by not only teaching me the basics, but also teaching me how to deal with people and real on-the-job problems. I have learned everything from how to diagnose problems to how to clean the shop floor and that keeping a clean shop helps things go faster and just looks professional. I have learned that hybrids and electric cars are the future of the automotive industry, and further education is needed to succeed in the constantly growing mechanic business.
At my sending school we do not have an automotive program or any classes closely related to the automotive industry. However, at my home school I try to take classes that are as closely related to the automotive industry as possible such as industrial engineering design, which helps me to see a different perspective on the design aspect of automobiles in the vastly growing automotive industry. This different perspective helps me see how many parts there really are just to put one car together and how such a simple thing such as a toy train can have several parts that need to be assembled for it to work properly.
The greatest benefit of career and technical education is learning not only about the field I am interested in but also learning real life skills that are needed in the real world to succeed in business and life in general. I am glad I am in the Cass Career Center to learn because they made me want to learn more, and now I plan on furthering my education after school by going to college.
Noah Anderson, CCC Automotive Technology student
All my life I have always been an analyst. I study things by separating them into their constituent parts and give reasoning to those pieces. I grew up with the mind set of curiosity. I wanted to know anything and everything. If I couldnt get it right, Id do it again. If I didnt understand, Id ask until I did. Thats why I take pleasure in working on cars.
To me, cars are a puzzle. Every little piece works together to make one big picture. I absolutely love the simplicity of knowing that in cars everything can be diagnosed, explained, and fixed. So one day I thought to myself, Why not make a career out of that? I knew I was good at figuring things out, solving the equation; why not make a living off of it?
Consequently, the minute I heard about the Cass Career Centers automotive program, I didnt hesitate one bit. I looked into it, got enrolled, and next thing I knew I was in the shop; tinkering away at all the possibilities in the automotive industry. Im only a junior, so this is my first year, but I have already learned so much. And with my type of mentality there is no way I could find any sort of fulfillment anywhere else. The environment of the Cass Career Center is just what I need. Its an actual shop, with actual cars, that have actual problems. Im not reading a text book and forgetting what I learned at school by dinner time. Im acquiring skills, skills that I am going to need for my career.
Not only am I getting an advantage on the knowledge I will need for my profession, but I am also gaining knowledge of how to succeed at my profession. At the Cass Career Center, the staff works hard to make our school life a resemblance to real life as much as possible. For example, in English we practice how to respond during interviews and how to complete professional resumes. In math we learn about how to calculate equations referencing directly to automotive technology. The counselors make sure we have more than enough information about our options after high school (educationally and financially) and the program instructors always make sure were taken care of.
Having the option of going to the Cass Career Center has been such a blessing to me. Without this career and technical education facility I wouldnt be pushed to my full potential, nor would I know what I want to do with my life. Because of the CCC I know where Im headed, and I know that with the knowledge Ive gathered I will always be triumphant in what I do. Im thankful I had the opportunity to get a head start on my career path and I know I wouldnt have been able to do so without career and technical education.
Molly Compton, CCC Automotive Technology student