BOA Graduate Found the Right Track at FCC Boynton Beach
Michael Hollis admits he never truly learned what it meant to be a student – to be curious of material, ask questions, study for exams, and establish beneficial relationships with his teachers. He never had a mentor or anyone to show him the ropes back in high school, and even if he did, Michael’s not sure he’d have listened anyway.
“I wasn’t on track,” he recalled. “I was getting into trouble and stuff, and I dropped out when I was 17 years old. Also, I went to jail around that time. I did almost 18 months. It took me awhile to settle down and get my first job.”
After working in the tree-trimming field and then construction clean-up for a couple of years, Michael couldn’t shake the feeling he needed to circle back. He wanted to be educated, he said, and he wanted to learn job skills that could propel him toward a better career.
That’s when he recalled a vocational college that had opened near his former high school. So, he went to check it out.
That school was Florida Career College (FCC) in Boynton Beach, and Michael was soon enrolled in its Business Office Administration Program. FCC also gave him an opportunity to earn his high school diploma.
And, despite a few hiccups in the process, Michael recently completed the program and was placed in a customer service job he really likes. It’s a place in life in which he said he never envisioned himself just a few short years ago.
Learning to Be a Better Student & Person
The first time Michael enrolled at FCC in Boynton Beach, he failed to complete the program. But, he gave enrollment another try about a year and a half later.
“When I came back, I said I wasn’t going to drop out this time. I wasn’t going to stop,” he said. “I told myself that if I sign these papers, I’m going to finish.”
He also vowed to learn to become a better student – not just with grades, which were never the problem the first time around, but with simply becoming more involved with his lessons. For instance, he had previously thought his role as a student involved sitting quietly and trying to absorb the material.
“Then, the teacher told me, she said, ‘Hey, if you have anything you need help on, just ask me,’” Michael recalled. “I was like, I didn’t know that. I didn’t know you just had to ask your teacher and they’d tell you anything you need to know.”
This realization empowered him as he worked his way through the program, during which he earned straight-As on his way to graduation. With help from his BOA instructors, who taught him how to study better and to set the right expectations for himself, Michael said his confidence grew.
“There’s still a lot I don’t know, and I’m still a little shy about that, but I’m definitely more confident now than before I had an education,” he said.
Applying Classroom Lessons to the Real World
Today, Michael works in customer service for a company that upgrades clients’ phone networks from 3G to 5G. It’s not an easy job, he admits, and he’s still trying to find his groove, but he knows what he has to do to succeed thanks to what he learned at FCC.
“Right now, it’s kind of difficult, but I can see the opportunity it’s given me,” he said. “I’ve been asking questions – tons and tons of questions – and hopefully I catch on and finish strong.”
Being able to come out of his shell to ask questions used to be a chore for Michael. But now, it’s becoming second-nature.
“It’s almost normal,” he said. “I couldn’t even believe it. I’m almost amazed, man.”
And for that, he’s thankful to the school that he believes took a chance on him – more than one, actually – when he really needed it.
“I want to say that they are a very nice school, they have a nice education system, and they have nice classrooms,” Michael said of FCC. “I also want to thank everyone there for the congratulations they’ve given me. I’m proud they gave me a chance as an FCC student.”
“Michael Hollis has displayed a high degree of relentlessness, responsibility, and determination,” said Aaron Morris, Executive Director of FCC’s Boynton Beach campus. “He believed in himself not to quit. He reenrolled with the intention of not only completing the BOA program, but to be working in customer service.”