Learning a Valuable Trade

Jacklyn Perez always enjoyed school, but in the past, she never really understood the value of it.

After high school, she worked several jobs at a time to help her family. It wasn’t until she got married that she decided it was time to focus on her education.

“I have a two-year-old son and I was always told to lead by example so if I want him to go to college, I have to do it myself,” she said. “After Covid, we all really learned that no jobs were secure the way we thought they were before that. HVAC was deemed a necessary job.”

It also helped that Jacklyn’s wife worked as an admissions representative at Florida Career College in West Palm Beach. Jacklyn felt confident that the school wouldn’t let her down.

“The instructors and everyone there loves what they do,” she said. “They love their job and they want to make sure all the students succeed. The whole admissions team and everyone in the front office do a good job of making sure school is something you want to do, and you’re committed to doing it. That helps a lot, having people in your corner.”

Jacklyn enrolled in the HVAC Technician program and found a new passion for helping people.

“Having that security and knowing I could take this course and get a job anywhere is honestly what pushed me to do it,” she said. “I love helping clients. Taking someone who is really upset from being in a 90-degree house, and as soon as they feel that cold air come on, you’re the best person in the world. You are their best friend.”

Throughout the program, Jacklyn consistently made the honor roll and was also able to find a job in the field before she graduated.

“It’s a proud moment for me,” she said. “I liked school in high school, but my grades were never like this. It felt really good to be able to say I’m consistently on the honor roll. It felt really good to show my mom that. The difference now is I truly understand the value of education, way more so than I did when I was a teen.”

Jacklyn plans to enroll in the United States Army. She feels confident she will be able to use and improve on her HVAC skills during her service.

“It has always been a dream of mine to serve and protect my country and provide for my family, so I thought why not,” she said. “If someone else is considering this program I would say, don’t think about it. Just do it. If you take too much time to think about it, you will end up psyching yourself out. If you want to do it, buckle down and do it. Study. Listen to your instructor. Ask any questions you have. It’s a great school.”