Mia Troska has always had a strong work ethic and a passion for learning new things. And with her interest in practical, concrete skills and task, it’s easy to see why she believes a Dunwoody education will be a great fit.
“I like learning with a purpose,” Troska said. “A four-year liberal arts college wasn’t going to be the best option for me.”
The Centennial High School student first discovered Dunwoody during her sophomore year. It was during that visit that she met Construction Project Management Program Manager Heather Gay, who set up a day-long job shadow for Troska at McGough Construction.
“I particularly liked the time I spent with an estimator and that increased my interest in attending Dunwoody,” Troska said.
Last year, she took another step and attended Dunwoody Visit Day, which allowed her to experience what a Dunwoody education is all about.
“My visit day cemented Dunwoody as my first choice,” Troska said. “I liked the diversity and varied ages of the students I saw. Small class sizes will be a plus for the hand-on learning part of my education.”
A plan for her future
Troska may be a year away from starting college, but she is already thinking about her future. It’s one of the reasons she is considering a degree in either Construction Management or Electrical Construction Design & Management.
“I’m hard working and self-motivated,” she said. “Having a job since age 14 and earning my own money not only gives me a sense of accomplishment, I also really enjoy working and meeting people from outside my daily high school life. I am pretty independent and the idea of being well prepared to start a career just two years after graduating high school is very exciting.”
And as a 4.0 student, captain of the varsity tennis team, a peer leader, National Honor Society student, and a member of her high school’s speech team, Troska has done her homework. She knows that graduates from the construction and electrical fields are in high demand, and will offer her immediate placement and great paying positions with advancement opportunities.
She also knows that she can then continue on and earn her bachelor’s degree, while working in the field.
And working while attending school is nothing new for Troska.
She has already had several jobs, beginning with her first position as a caddy when she was 14 years old. Since then she has worked at a dry cleaners and now works a concession stand at a local park.
The YCAP summer experience
Since Troska knew she would need financial assistance to attend Dunwoody, she decided to apply for the Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) scholarship. The scholarship program, which works to enhance career opportunities for under-represented youth and encourages them to earn a degree from Dunwoody, includes a four-week summer experience at the College.
The experience has allowed Troska to learn about different career fields, tour industry employers, and participate in hands-on activities.
“Besides the very generous scholarship, I plan to take full advantage of the mentorship and workshop opportunities to become even better prepared to start a career in the construction industry,” she said.
As she enters her senior year of high school, Troska is planning to take advantage of her high school’s Post Secondary Enrollment Options, so she can start earning college credits before she graduates and enrolls at Dunwoody.
“I’m really excited to come here,” she said.