Micah Ragoonan wasn’t really planning on going back to school but when his mom, an instructor at Florida Career College, took him on a tour of the school, his mind was opened to a world of new possibilities.
Tanya had been working at FCC’s Margate campus for almost three years.
“She just told me to stop by the school to see if I wanted to do it. I thought why not,” Micah said. “Why not go back to school and try something better? I was working overnights and losing sleep. I thought I could buckle down for a year and get my life together.”
As soon as Micah stepped on campus and met the HVAC instructors, he knew it would be a good fit for him. He enrolled in the HVAC Program and less than 10 months later, he was graduating with a full-time job in the field.
‘EVERY TEACHER CARES‘
Something about Florida Career College was different to Micah.
“As a kid I was very into school but once I got into high school, I wasn’t very interested,” he said. “I went to college twice and I wasn’t too interested, for some reason. I don’t know if it’s the teachers, or what it is, but at FCC I feel like I really matured and grew as a person, and it helped me a lot.”
“Every teacher I had was very articulate. If you had any questions they would answer them. They would stay and teach you anything you want to know… I learned everything I could possibly learn to help me do what I’m doing right now.”
That dedication to students is something Tanya knows very well. She teaches the Allied Health courses at the campus and completed her Master’s in Education degree with a specialization in curriculum and instruction.
“I love just being with the students and knowing their life story and just seeing them evolve and transform as a person and seeing them grow and go into the field and keep in touch with me and get certified and just flourish as a person in their careers,” she said. “Seeing where they started and where they are as individuals, especially the challenging ones. I guess I have so much success because they know I care… With Micah I didn’t have to convince him… The teachers took him, and he fell in love with them. They spoke to him, and he enrolled. He adores them and they have mentored him.”
“If he ever has any problems, he knows he can contact us… we as instructors also serve as big brothers long after they graduate,” said Roger Sawyer, one of Micah’s instructors. “He knows that, so he does let us know how he’s doing. He does stay in contact. I can tell you right now, he’s a great student. He’s going to go far.”
SUCCESS IN THE CLASSROOM AND BEYOND
What made the experience even more special for Micah was attending the school where his mother works and gaining a new appreciation for her.
“I get to see firsthand how she treats students,” he said. “It gave me a real great appreciation for what my mom does. It’s not easy taking care of 30 people and having to grade their work and prepare them for a new career. It’s not easy!”
Micah and his mother have always been close. When asked, he has trouble expressing what their relationship is like.
“We are more than close. That’s the love of my life, my mother,” he said. “She’s incredible. I have no words. I’d have to go on for days.”
“To see your son every Monday and Wednesday when you’re here was a joy,” Tanya said. “Just seeing him with them and the collaboration and seeing him doing his thing and enjoying learning, it was priceless. Seeing how authentic the learning was and hands-on and they just made everything so real- world. It was really awesome… Not only is it a school where you can acquire a skillset in less than a year but it’s also an environment with faculty and staff that genuinely care about student outcomes and ensuring that students are successful not only in the classroom but once they complete their program and enter their externship and their careers.”
Micah is currently training to be a lead technician at his job, just four months after graduating.