College Is Not Always The Right Answer

My topic for today’s post is education and a success story from the church youth group I volunteer at. The title of this post may seem strange to some because as a lawyer I spent a lot of time at college. But with many of the kids that I work with there are numerous reasons why they fail to get to college in the first place. Many times it is down to a mixture of the poor quality high schools available to them and a lack of money to pay for a college education.

But I recently bumped into a kid, actually he is a man now, who I used to coach at the youth center. He was bright but came from a broken family where drugs and alcohol were a big problem. He always dreamt of becoming a professional basketball player and I did my best to make sure he stuck to get his high school diploma, which he did.

Unfortunately he was not able to secure a scholarship to a university and there simply was no way his family could support him. One of his main interests was airplanes and for a while he think about joining the Airforce. Before he did that I got him in touch with a friend of mine who flies small propeller sports planes to see if he would introduce Shaun to the world of flying.

Shaun was able to spend the summer after high school at the local airport working as an intern with a maintenance company. This ultimately led him to decide that college really wasn’t going to be a good solution for him and he instead started an apprenticeship as a mechanic.

Rolls-Royce_Trent_900_AEDC-d0404084_USAFNow fast-forward 4 years Shaun works for a large airline maintenance company and has created a fantastic career for himself. I was so delighted to see him and find out that he had managed to overcome all the odds of his background and not end up on the street like so many others of his friends and family did.

I personally always knew I wanted to be a lawyer and back when I went to university the costs were nowhere near as much as they are today. Looking at what it would have cost Shaun to do an engineering degree compared to his situation now is incredible. He probably would have been in debt to the tune of $100,000 with a difficult prospect for finding work. Instead, he has completed a mechanics apprenticeship during which he was able to work part time to support himself.

Then after I think 3 years of learning by working a large company immediately took him on because he had made some great contacts through my friend. He now has a great career ahead of him and no debts. This is such a fantastic situation for him to be in as he does not have to worry about trying to pay off loans and can do what young men of his age should be doing.