Struggle, Passion and the Ultimate Victory: SEMCA students celebrate the start of their professional careers

    The path to graduation can include so many obstacles, challenges and opportunities. For some SEMCA students, they’ve been on this path for four years as electrical apprentices. Other students started their journey more recently studying carpentry or welding.
    Graduation day carries a tremendous feeling of accomplishment, courage and desire to tackle the future. In his commencement video address, Sean Fisher, SEMCA Board of Trustees Chairman congratulated the 100 plus graduates for making it to this day.
    “I am filled with immense pride and excitement, for I have the privilege of addressing a group of individuals who have paved the way to become architects of their own destiny. To our graduates, you embarked on this path with a toolbox in hand, a spark of curiosity and a hunger to learn. You honed your skills, cut building materials, wired circuits and made connections,” Fisher said. “You transformed raw materials into functional systems, and in doing so, you transformed yourselves. You are the embodiment of resilience, adaptability and craftsmanship.”
    For Andre Stinson, his life changed for the better after making the decision to go to trade school. His family encouraged him to try the construction path for himself after a few members got their start to success in the very classrooms Stinson walked into four years ago. The four years did not come without struggle, Stinson recalled, but it was his mind-set and determination that pushed him through.
    “It’s all about just getting out there and doing,” Stinson said. “Being around like-minded, hard-working people at SEMCA showed me there’s nothing too hard to do in this world. It’s a big change, it’s a big step forward, but I’m just getting started.”
    Now that he has graduated, Stinson has no plans to stop taking on the industry. He plans to get his journeyman license, get more years in the industry under his belt before becoming a master and opening his own business.
    “SEMCA provided me with this foundation I can build my life on. I am one step closer to achieving my dreams, and I am ready to go,” Stinson said.
    Douglas Electric project coordinator and estimator, Chris Burzycki, originally had plans to become a carpenter, but then decided to switch gears and enrolled in the electrical program. He credits the referral from a trusted mentor for his reason to attending SEMCA, and now that his training program is complete, Burzycki is ready to get his journeyman license and get going.
    “We’ve all been doing this for a while, and the past four years provided us with the tools and knowledge for our careers, so I’m ready to do what I have to do to be successful,” Burzycki said.
    Devin Gostomski recalls walking in on the first day of school starting his training during COVID.
    “During COVID was not the best. Doing some days online because of restrictions was a pain and not ideal for someone who wants to work with their hands,” Gostomski said. “At that time, I wasn’t sure if I would make it because it was odd learning about hand and power tools on a screen, but I got through it, we eventually made it to in-person learning and we all worked incredibly hard to make it to this day. I’m just really happy to be here.”
    The SEMCA Class of 2024 is the largest graduating class in SEMCA history. They have spent time perfecting their craft in the classroom and are ready to take on the industry with no limits to what they will accomplish. Congratulations to the SEMCA Class of 2024!