An Armstrong student’s appreciation for school buses has led to a career and a scholarship.
Carson Tucker, a Pleasant Valley Secondary 2014 graduate, was awarded the Association of School Transportation Services of B.C. scholarship. The $7,000 award will go towards the four-year heavy duty/commercial transport mechanic training course.
“Most of my time in the public school system, I have taken the bus almost every day to get to school. I live 20 minutes from Armstrong and my parents both work in a different area,” he said. “Without the bus system I would never had made it to school to get my education to do what I am doing now as a heavy duty mechanic student.”
Tucker is a good example of how the dual-credit program works for high school students. The program allows students to do the courses required for graduation while starting training in their chosen trade. Tucker is currently taking the heavy duty mechanic course at Thompson Rivers University, which runs February through September 2014.
“I knew ever since elementary school that I wanted to get into mechanics,” said Tucker. “Even before that I would go with my dad to work logging with my grandpa. I loved operating machines and watching them work on them. High school is where I realized I could actually do it. I took classes that would allow me to pursue this career: math, English and one of my favourite classes, automotive tech.”
Tucker’s auto teacher told him about the dual credit program.
“I was going to take the automotive course I was interested in. But I asked my teachers if there was a heavy duty program. Originally there wasn’t one for my district but they got me in. I love this course because there is so much variety in what you work on and where you can work,” said Tucker.
“I think it’s awesome that our school has programs like automotive, metal work, wood work, art and dance. I know lots of schools that don’t have them. They really help students realize what they like and enjoy in school. It also opens doors for trade students. The dual credit programs are awesome and I’m really thankful that we have them. There always have been opportunities for students in sciences, etc., but now there are programs for students in trades.”
North Okanagan-Shuswap School District career coordinator Mark Marino is extremely happy for Tucker, saying he is well deserving of this exclusive award.
“He is a very deserving winner and I’m very excited for him. It’s a real honour to win this scholarship. I have no doubt that Carson will have great success in the future on his chosen route to becoming a Red Seal heavy duty/commercial transport mechanic,” he said.
Tucker will continue his studies with a combination of courses at Thompson Rivers University and apprenticeships.