Michael Smith just completed his first year at Mountwest. After facing numerous struggles, he is now on the fast track to success and not looking back.
In high school, Michael described himself as an “up and down” student. His instructors noticed his potential and advised him to visit the Mountwest campus because of the affordable tuition, supportive faculty and staff, and the unique degree programs offered. After graduating from Huntington High, Michael did just that. He visited the campus, attended orientation, and then set off on his journey at Mountwest, which began with a semester he was unsure if he could complete.
Michael’s first semester was rocky, to say the least. He lost his backpack, carrying all of his textbooks.
“That was my biggest challenge; I didn’t know how I could get through the rest of the semester without any school books,” Michael said. “Thankfully, I met a lot of new friends and teachers who helped me along the way.”
With his first year under his belt, Michael is looking forward to his second. He has discovered an interest in design, engineering and architecture. Mountwest has given him the opportunity to explore these interests, taking classes on 3D printing, and even working as an inventor on numerous projects.
“Michael is an excellent student and role model who has overcome obstacles in which he not only got through, but came out even more dedicated and stronger than before,” said Kathryn Ford, Student Success Counselor. “His work ethic and character, in addition to his other qualities, are impressive for such a young student. These qualities make him stand out at Mountwest.”
Michael enjoys drawing and has had the opportunity to take hands-on classes at Mountwest, including graphic design, engineering and technology-centered classes.
“Mountwest is a great campus overall; there is mentoring available, a career center on campus, and someone is always there to offer you help when you need it,” Michael said. “The fact that classes are a lot smaller allows you to have more one-on-one time with teachers, and also gives you the opportunity to work closely with others.”
Michael is taking a Communications course this summer, and is already enrolled in classes for the upcoming fall semester. He is looking forward to the computer programs he will be completing next year, as well as applying his artistic skills in his course studies.
“The teachers and staff at Mountwest really want to see you succeed. I used to be an up-and-down student in high school,” Michael explained. “Mountwest has put me in the state of mind to try my best and get the job done.”
In 10 years, Michael’s goal is to be working in the field of engineering, supporting his family and giving back to his community. He says Mountwest has motivated him to put in the effort and dedication necessary to succeed in achieving his goals.