I first met Steve Jant when he joined our GED program in 2009. The GED was a huge challenge for him, and he studied on and off with us for four full years. After he graduated in 2013, he went to Greenville Technical College, where he struggled with introductory college level work.
Steve stopped by United Ministries recently to tell us about his new vocation. He is now studying metallurgy, the branch of science and technology concerned with the properties of metals and their production and purification. He speaks with energetic confidence about all the parts of the industry, from mining to pellets and slabs to a finished product. He told us about his labs at Greenville Tech, working with all kinds of furnaces, and dealing with issues of the hardness and workability of the metals. He now works at Five Star Carbide Cutting Tool Technology and is learning about machining metals where flutes and rake angles are important. At Greenville Tech, his labs will be about writing his own programs to perform the operations he does at work.
During our conversation, I was impressed with how far Steve has come academically and with the enthusiasm he expressed for both his work and study. When I praised him for his new-found confidence, he responded, “Don’t get me wrong…I have my days of frustration, too.” This let me know how far he has really come. He now faces his challenges with so much more assertiveness and grace than he did seven or even four years ago.
Ken Christy, Adult Education Academic Counselor