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"I know the education I have received at Wake Tech will take me where I want to go."
For many high school students, the last few weeks before graduation are typically filled with lifelong memories and good times. For 2020 Middle Creek High School graduate Oscar Avina-Rodriguez, he left high school and entered a world rearranged by a global pandemic. With only a couple of thoughts about what he wanted to pursue in life, he found guidance and support from his family.
"I kind of had an idea that I wanted to do something creative while helping people," said Avina-Rodriguez. "It helped that my family was able to let me know that I should be designing projects and not constructing them."
There was only one place Avina-Rodriguez had in mind to continue his journey, and that was Wake Tech. He was familiar with the college from living nearby and had learned about its programs, resources and emphasis on quality instruction while in high school. In the fall of 2020, Avina-Rodriguez started classes at Wake Tech on a path to success in the Associate in Applied Science Architecture Technology degree program.
"It was convenient and affordable for me to come to Wake Tech," Avina-Rodriguez said. "Plus, I knew the college can help me get into a four-year university if I want to continue down that road."
Avina-Rodriguez thrived in the Architecture Technology program. He credits the diversity and the depth of knowledge of his instructors for providing him with different ways of approaching projects, assignments and tasks. In return, Avina-Rodriguez impressed his instructors with his skill and attention to detail. He was invited to compete in the SkillsUSA state competition this spring, where he placed first in his architectural drafting.
"SkillsUSA allowed me to show off all of the skills I have learned here at Wake Tech," Avina-Rodriguez said. "After winning at the state level, it showed how much I have grown, and it's given me a lot more confidence in my work."
Avina-Rodriguez is taking that confidence to the national stage level as he competes against winners from across the United States. He plans to enter the workforce for a couple of years before deciding whether to further his education at a four-year institution.
"I know the education I have received at Wake Tech will take me where I want to go," Avina-Rodriguez said. "My plan is to work after graduation, but with my degree and work experience, I feel more confident about attending a four-year university when the time is right."
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