The mikeroweWORKS Foundation, led by The Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs Host Mike Rowe, strives to bridge the gap between skilled trades and young, hardworking individuals. There seems to be a stigma attached to hands-on jobs, which may be fallout from the effort to educate America’s youth, however Mike Rowe and his foundation aim to correct this misunderstanding.
One of the many efforts led by this organization is the Work Ethic Scholarship Program that, in 2017, hand selected 259 hard-working students in the entire United State to receive scholarships to help them learn more about the trades they are pursuing. We were proud to hear this foundation had selected our own Samuel Tollett.
Sam is 18 year old graduate from Hagerstown High School and the New Castle Career Center who is now working towards a degree from Ivy Tech. We took a moment to get to know Sam a little better and what drives him to refine his skill set:
How does it feel to be recognized for your interest in hands-on work?
- I take great pride in the work that I do. So getting a scholarship like this, one based around work ethic and what I do makes me feel proud. I do the best work I can so that my bosses and coworkers trust me to produce quality products.
Why do you think strong work ethic is important?
- To me, a strong work ethic means you show up to work, you do your job, you do what is asked of you, and you don’t hesitate to do it. It’s a good thing because it builds character and makes it easier to learn from people that can teach you.
What do you study?
- Machine Tool Technology. I take machining classes, computer design classes, welding classes along with the core subjects; math, science, English, speech.
How were you introduced to machining and metal-work?
- My dad was a carpenter, so growing up I would work and learn alongside him during the summer. When I went to the Career Center, my Dad encouraged me to try a new trade. I had already learned the basics of welding so I decided to try machining, and instantly took to it.
Who are your role models?
- My dad is a big role model to me. Ever since I was little I looked up to what he does. My teachers are a huge influence on me as well but my main role model is my Dad.
Where would you like to see your career go?
- I’d like to become a project manager or an engineer, maybe even a shop foreman one day. I think my communication skills and willingness to go to class and learn in general will help my journey.
What is your next step?
- I want to learn as much as a can where I am at Hoosier Feeder Company. I’d love to be sent out on service calls when the time comes but the next big step, will be completing my associates degree next summer.
The rest of us at Hoosier Feeder Company congratulate Sam and wish him the best as his positive attitude and work ethic drive his career forward.
October 3, 2017