"The (seemingly) biggest part in many people's lives is the shocking cut from highschool and jumping into the real world. Everything that a student has come to know from being in highschool and the lifestyle along with it is abandoned, and forced upon them is the reality of life. Some people seem to be more prepared for the jump between worlds, and prepared was definitely not the word I would have used when I was starting Grade 11 at Kelly Road Secondary School. No plan real plan, and unfortunately my passion of music and history didn't seem to bring up a reasonable career path. We had been bombarded by CNC to sign up for CTC, and after all the stress of not knowing what I would do after I school, I realized that one year in at the college would only benefit me. Whether or not being an Automotive Service Technician would suit me or not, this year of college could potentially set me up for my other passions in life. So I took the plunge, signed up near last minute, just to start a plan in life.

"Even after the first day I knew I had made the right decision. Bill (the Automotive CTC instructor) didn't want us to call him by his last name, we came into the classroom that is loaded with computers and car parts alike. The shop was seemingly endless, and the atmosphere so grown up. Being around people who want to be at school, who want to plan their future and are taking the first step, was a huge change from being back in highschool. You can also look at it from a teenagers view; not whining just to be allowed to go to the washroom, the school doesn't go through your parents to get in touch with you, mommy doesn't have to call if you're sick, and of course a shop to work on your own vehicles. In the year I attended CTC, I made some everlasting friendships, connections in the local automotive industry, and learned more than I could have ever imagined. When the end of the year came around I had went from clueless as to what my future would hold to on my way to a true career plan. I now work full time in the trade that has become a new passion, benefits, RRSP's, the whole nine yards. The benefits of a year at college don't stop there. If I decided a job in the trades wasn't for me, what looks better on a college or university application or a resume than a year of college?

"I have heard some people tell me that trades are dead end jobs, they really have no idea. Being a mechanic is only step one. I was opened up to a whole new world of opportunity when I was invited the the Vancouver International Auto Show by ATSO (Automotive Training and Standards Organization). I talked to engineers, designers, businessmen, managers, dealership owners, salesmen, and even test drivers. This is when I realized that by taking a leap and taking Automotive at CTC that I had opened up a world of possibilites for myself. I would be able to convince anyone in a heartbeat that CTC will give them an advantage in life that many students could only dream of."

Rob Bacon