Michael Anne Bolene - SkillsUSA - Stillwater High School/Meridian Technology Center
THEN: A social introvert with aspirations of becoming a doctor. While on a mission trip, Michael Anne’s chance encounter with a Meridian Technology Center pre-engineering student spurred her to enroll in MTC’s Pre-Engineering Academy. A hands-on learner, she has thrived in that environment. She says CareerTech encouraged her to step outside of her comfort zone, and she has discovered new passions. Through the Academy and SkillsUSA, Michael Anne:
- Learned about topics such as global water inequality, oil-eating microbes for oil spill cleanups and the use of bacterial enzymes to genetically modify food and other organisms.
- Gained the leadership skills and professionalism she needed to become a state SkillsUSA officer.
- Got involved in public speaking and is now able to speak in front of large crowds.
- Networked with students and employers across the state.
- Helped create several robots that were successful in competitions.
NOW: An Ivy League student enrolled in Columbia University’s chemical engineering program. Michael Anne credited the interdisciplinary approach in her CareerTech engineering classes for the high ACT scores that helped her get into Columbia. After completing her degree she plans to attend medical school and become a doctor, working with an organization such as Doctors Without Borders.
It’s all thanks to her instructors, she says. “By interweaving what we have already learned with what we’re currently learning and finding ways to apply the knowledge through hands-on projects, my instructors make learning difficult subjects seem fun,” she said.