For Brian Wilson, he knew that following in his Dad’s footsteps after high school would be difficult, but was unsure of his own career path.
After graduation, Wilson began working, but frequently thought about getting a college degree. He enrolled in a community college near his hometown in Arizona, and earned an associate degree in General Studies. Wilson’s love of learning didn’t stop there. After earning his first associate degree, Wilson continued working full-time, but knew that he wanted to continue advancing his education – he just wasn’t sure what field he wanted to study. That is until a former co-worker extended an invitation to visit the School of Energy.
Wilson has been employed at the San Juan Mine, Westmoreland Mining, LLC, for the past six years. His co-worker, who had retired and is now teaching at San Juan College’s School of Energy, invited Wilson to visit the campus. He encouraged him to enroll in the Industrial Maintenance Mechanic program, and Wilson jumped at the opportunity.
“As someone who works in the industry, I’ve been able to share stories with my classmates about my experiences and, in turn, I gained knowledge from other students,” he says. “The instructors bring a wealth of information and years of experience. If I ever had my own crew of employees, I would pick every one of my instructors—I would truly have an ALL STAR team.”
Wilson earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in the Industrial Maintenance Mechanic program last May. He then continued with classes and will now will graduate with an Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Process Operator this May. Wilson was also the recipient of the Grainger scholarship, provided through the San Juan College Foundation.
“The San Juan College Foundation has been pivotal in my education,” states Wilson. “They really care about students and their success.”
“Don’t be afraid to find your own dream and work toward it,” he says. “San Juan College has allowed me to do that, while staying home and close to my family. The classes I took through School of Energy made me who I am today. The instructors encouraged me and supported me. I knew I could achieve my dream, and thanks to my family and the School of Energy, I’ve succeeded.”
“Don’t be afraid to find your own dream and work toward it. San Juan College has allowed me to do that, while staying home and close to my family.”