May 26, 2017

The
valedictorian at John Marshall Community High School is the only one of this
year’s 16 vals and sals going outside of Indiana for college. He’s also entering
a field of study the rest of the scholars probably would have never considered.

 

But
he’s doing what he loves.Cosmel

 

When
Cosmel leaves for college this fall, he will be heading to Sacramento, Calif.,
to study automotive technology at Universal Technical Institute.

 

He credits
his academic success to Arsenal Technical High School’s Career Technology Center
(CTC) auto instructor Daniel Doherty. 

 

“We built a
relationship that is more than just a teacher to student,” said Cosmel. “I see
him as a friend.” 

 

For years,
vocational educational programs were once seen as a dumping ground for
underachieving students, but Cosmel’s 3.6 GPA turns that thought on its head.

 

Today’s career
technical education programs, like the one at Arsenal Tech, have become popular
with students throughout IPS and outside of the school district — giving IPS
high school students (including Cosmel) the option to cross study between high
schools.

 

In the past
three years, CTC enrollment has increased from 1,100 to 1,800 students. 

 

Through
Tech’s CTC program, students not only gain valuable skills, they also become
certified in certain professions. Currently, CTC offers 15 career pathways,
including CTC auto body repair, diesel mechanics, graphic arts, cosmetology,
fire rescue and dentistry.

 

Cosmel
admits that he originally wasn’t interested in attending college “until my
teachers convinced me to do so,” he said. But he’s happy he changed his mind.

 

His advice
to other students?

 

“Take steps
as early as you can to prepare for the future that you want.”