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Tanner Weston – SkillsUSA, FFA and Mid-America Technology Center

Mid-America Tech carpentry grad says CareerTech gave him a Plan B.

THEN: A high school junior who had no idea what he wanted to do after graduation. Tanner Weston tossed around a few career options for his future before deciding to work instead on his back-up plan. Both his friend and his cousin had taken residential carpentry classes at Mid-America Technology Center. After hearing about their experiences in SkillsUSA, Tanner signed up.  

He wasn’t sold on carpentry as a career, but he knew he could use those skills to help finance his future college expenses. He said he didn’t know what a framing stud was when he entered the carpentry program, but now he can install drywall.

At Lexington High School Tanner was already an FFA member, but he joined SkillsUSA at Mid-America, becoming a state and then a national officer. Between carpentry classes, FFA and SkillsUSA, he graduated high school with:

  • A national Career Readiness Certificate at the silver level.
  • Leadership and teamwork skills.
  • An ability to relate to and get along with everyone from welders to pre-engineering students
  • Residential carpentry skills

Tanner says much of his success is due to his SkillsUSA advisor, Jeff Herndon, who truly cares about people.

“Mr. Herndon is a fantastic individual,” he said. “I’ve never met anyone who cares that much.”

NOW: Region Four vice president of SkillsUSA and an incoming freshman at Oklahoma State University, majoring in agriculture economics/pre-law. He plans to apply to law school after getting his bachelor’s degree, although he says with his new construction skills he might also consider a career as a construction foreman. Tanner has political aspirations, hoping to someday run for governor or state representative.

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