This Spring, Jimmy “Harlie” Parker and Michael “Chance” Causey will share a unique accomplishment. Within the span of one month, they will graduate from both Worth County High School (WCHS) and Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC). These young men will become the first two SRTC Dual Enrollment students to earn college diplomas in Welding & Joining Technology before they receive their high school diplomas. Both young men will walk across the stage at SRTC’s June 13th commencement ceremony in Moultrie to receive their diplomas.
Their WCHS Welding Instructor, Cory Miller, says that their joint achievement is not a surprise. “These guys are best friends, and there is little to nothing that they do not do together. They began with me as 10th graders and have helped move this program forward. It was apparent early on that they came into the class eager to learn. Not only did they have the desire to get into the welding booth and get hands-on practice, they also wanted to know the why and how. For three years, they have set the example for what a student can get out of the Dual Enrollment program if they put forth a little bit of extra work.”
Both students are planning to continue on to four-year universities, where they will each pursue careers in engineering. Causey is interested in electrical engineering and Parker is interested in mechanical engineering. These two grew up together around the Parker family’s business, Scales, Systems & Automation in Sylvester, where they saw precision industrial manufacturing and maintenance firsthand as boys.
More recently, the pair have successfully parlayed their knowledge and training into success at tradeshows and competitions. They have had the opportunity to attend Fabtech 2018 in Atlanta. At the Skills Challenge in Moultrie, Harlie beat out over 100 other welders to win the top honor in welding, and each claimed prizes at the SkillsUSA Region Competition. Both are advancing to SkillsUSA State Competition March 21-23. They have also taken leadership roles in Worth County High School’s SkillsUSA chapter, with Parker serving as President, and Causey serving as Vice-President of the club.
Both boys were in unison on what the biggest benefit of the Dual Enrollment program has been for them, “We just earned a 2-year diploma for free before we graduated from high school!” “It’s been a wonderful program,” added Parker, “definitely.”
SRTC has Dual Enrollment partnerships with 16 area high schools. For more information about earning college credits while still in high school, please visit online: https://southernregional.edu/highschool