KTECH Mechatronics and KTECH VR students received their final certifications Tuesday at the annual KTECH awards banquet.
Chase Patterson, Michael Craven and Jaleel Hatch all received their final Mechatronics certifications. Phoenix Keck, Dane Workman, Riley Sparks and Jasmine Wince received their certifications for KTECH VR.
Chase Patterson received the James Palmer Lindberg Jr. Trajectory Award that is given to the student with the highest scholastic achievement.
Patterson, who came to KTECH to add more skills to his resume in his current job at Bocar US, said he was thankful for more than the lessons he learned in the classroom.
"I've learned a lot about people," Patterson said. "I've learned more about the importance of others and teamwork in the last four months than every before, and for that I'm grateful."
Guest speakers at the event were KTECH Class 17 graduate and Mazda Toyota Manufacturing employee Ryan Demos, and KTECH Ambassador Louis Whitlow, who told the students they have accomplished a major milestone, but there's no time to rest.
"This is not a moment to get comfortable, or a moment to say 'I'm here,'" Whitlow said. "This is a moment to say 'I'm adding some new tools to my toolbox' — to elevate your lives to a whole other level."
Demos gave the students advice for the next step in their lives, telling them they already know they have the skills and the desire to work. He told them to keep their notes from class, and to surround themselves at work with others who want to learn.
"You'll get a reputation as someone who wants to learn and someone is hard-working," Demos said. "And when there's a new piece of equipment or a new class being offered — a new type of training — if you have that reputation, they'll tend to come to you first and ask if you'd like to take part in it. It opens a lot of doors."
Calhoun Community College President Dr. Jimmy Hodges surprised both Demos and Hatch with scholarships to attend Calhoun.
"Don't ever let somebody dictate your future," Hodges told the students. "You are somebody."