IPS Senior PREPared for life after highschool

Cayla Vaughan, Editor

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“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” You can find this statement on motivational posters, bumper stickers, or it might even be used in graduation speeches.  For one of our seniors at Imagine Prep, that saying has articulated itself into a life motto.

Senior Mark Edwards has taken advantage of opportunities while in high school to set himself up with a career drawn from enjoying racing hot wheels toy cars his grandpa would reward him with for completing chores.

Edwards joined the Imagine family when he started sixth grade at Imagine Rosefield. He will be graduating with a high school diploma and a plan as solid as his knowledge of cars and how to fix them.

“My dad needed the transmission on his car replaced and needed extra hands, so he called my older brother and me to help out,” Edwards said. “I ended up jamming my fingers. My dad told me then; “Mark, if you want to do this, you’ll have to get better.’ Wanting to learn more about cars and how to fix them just kept growing every time my dad would have us help. My dad would name all those different car parts. I had no idea what they were, but I was determined to learn and know.”

Edwards decided to go to West-Mec after looking up to his older brother.

“My brother, Matthew, participated in the welding program at West-Mec while in high school, and I wanted to get into the automotive program they were offering,” Edwards said. “I applied my sophomore year, and got in! I thought, ‘You know, my dad, brother, and I are already doing some of that stuff, and I am getting good at it!””

At first it took Edwards time to adjust to going to West-Mec, but once he did, he was excited to be attending West-Mec.

“There was a time of adjustment, for sure, being at a new campus with new classmates,” Edwards said. “The first year is full of textbook theory learning about safety and the different equipment and tools. There is more hands-on and practice during the second semester, but the second year of the program is the most fun because that is where most of the practice happens.”  

By going to West-Mec, Edwards has set himself up for going into the workforce right after high school.

“If you complete the two years, you can earn professional certifications. I have earned six so far. I was also able to take a dual enrollment course through my program that helped me receive four college credits. Once I am done with the program, I can join the workforce right away.”

Since Edwards has had all of these opportunities already, he was bright plans for his future.

“I recently got a job shadow opportunity at a local dealership,” Edwards said. The manager was surprised at how much I knew; he told me that he would have a job for me when I am done with school and turn 18. I am currently working at an aftermarket repair shop. The manager has talked to me about working full time for them. I would be full time, plus 401K and benefits!”

Edwards recommends to find things you are interested in to find out what you may want to do after high school.

Think carefully about the program you want to get into,” Edwards said. “If you are not sure, start with something that you are passionate about. Also, do not procrastinate with assignments and homework.”


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IPS Senior PREPared for life after highschool