by Dr. Douglas Major, Superintendent/CEO of Meridian Technology Center
This month, nearly 400 high school and adult students will be graduating from Meridian’s full-time career training programs.
Even though we won’t be able to hold our usual ceremony and honor these students in the way that we wanted to, we want our graduates to know how proud of them we are and that we celebrate their accomplishments.
The class of 2020 has completed the classroom and hands-on work required plus received additional industry certifications while gaining experience in a real-world environment. Each classroom’s curriculum and equipment are heavily influenced by Business and Education Council members who work with instructors to make sure students are leaving with hirable skills. Many of those professionals also offer internships and other on-the-job training for students, an invaluable partnership.
These graduates have gained more than industry skills and certifications, though. They’ve been mentored by their instructors and the businesses that support each program. They’ve learned to motivate themselves through self-paced programs to meet deadlines and requirements. They’ve formed friendships and worked alongside students from 10 different communities.
Whether they were solving problems for NASA, volunteering at the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy, holding blood drives, raising money for charity organizations, or serving at medical facilities, these students have already poured their time, energy and passion into making the world a better place. This particular group of students gave more than 2,600 hours of community service this year on top of the hours they spent honing their skills.
They will continue to impact the world around them as they move on from Meridian. Each year, about half of our graduates go directly into the workforce, while the other half continues their education. Whichever path they choose, they will be investing in their communities through the quality work they do, the businesses they start and the lives they improve. The best part is they can do all of this debt-free.
This year ended in a way that no one could have predicted, but the class of 2020 did not stop reaching for their goals. We hope you know that we’re proud of you and that you have the Meridian community cheering for you as you continue on to climb even higher.
Dr. Douglas Major is Superintendent/CEO of Meridian Technology Center, which serves residents of parts of Lincoln, Logan, Noble, Pawnee and Payne counties.