兔子先生

October 22, 2020

MIBEST a perfect challenge for carpentry student

Wyatt Stringer understands how the world works and wants to build it better through his newfound skills in woodworking. He understood it a little too well in high school, though,…
BY: Danny Barrett Jr.
April Garon
Matthew Alford

Wyatt Stringer understands how the world works and wants to build it better through his newfound skills in woodworking.

He understood it a little too well in high school, though, and boredom was intense enough to delay his diploma. 鈥淔or me, I just lost interest in all the repetition of basic skills and not learning enough specialized skills you can actually make a job out of,鈥 he said.

Stringer, 18, of Madison, failed his sophomore year at Madison Central High School. He and his mother were at a crossroads when it came to his future.

鈥淚 just couldn鈥檛 see surviving another two years of high school with him being so disinterested,鈥 said Sybyl Stringer, who works as an administrative librarian at 兔子先生 Raymond Campus. 鈥淚 was aware that 兔子先生offered the high school equivalency, and Wyatt was eligible immediately once he took the test for it.鈥

The calculated gamble on the program has paid off handsomely. In 2019, he began the MIBEST program at 兔子先生and also started work as an apprentice for a residential construction company. The program allows adult students to train for a job skill while earning their High School Equivalency certificate at the same time. Students prepared to be job-ready in six months to a year, train in high-demand areas and earn national certifications.

He aced his High School Equivalency exam and is now enrolled in the Carpentry program at Hinds. Along the way, he earned scholarships through Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the college鈥檚 HSE Diploma Scholarship program.

Being in MIBEST has helped him prioritize his time and avoid turning stress into procrastination.

鈥淚鈥檓 definitely better at talking to people who help me get done things I need to get done,鈥 he said. 鈥淔or example, I鈥檓 more focused on things like my FAFSA application, high school transcripts, just asking questions in general. In high school, if I missed an assignment by two days, I just didn鈥檛 do it at all.鈥

He hasn鈥檛 ever lacked for general knowledge 鈥 he can talk freely about the ionization point of cobalt and enjoys chances to, as he puts it, 鈥渇lex grammar鈥 in general conversation. However, pursuing carpentry has helped him see what it鈥檚 like to start a project and see it through to completion.

鈥淚 was already working with carpentry, so it made sense,鈥 he said. 鈥淵ou get a taste of everything with carpentry. You can get a little electrical, flooring and roofing. In the job I have, we fixed up an entire house in two weeks, from the baseboards to the doors. I felt super-accomplished. Then, in class, we build cabinets, chairs, a model house and even a deer stand for one of our teachers.

鈥淭his is a more hands-on environment for learning. Now, if there鈥檚 something I don鈥檛 understand, I just go ask an instructor. They鈥檒l show you what tool you want to know about or a certain technique on how to do something better.鈥

鈥淢y instructors and navigator…they know how to keep me from not being disappointed in myself.鈥

All participants in MIBEST have access to support staff, or navigators, whose job it is to help students focus on their studies by advising them on a wide range of life issues 鈥 which often include everything from childcare to transportation to ways to find rental assistance for those in such a situation.

Stringers鈥 navigators and instructors have noticed how his energies have been channeled in a positive direction in the program.

鈥淲yatt is one of the most energetic, and eager to learn teenagers I have met in a long time,鈥 said Chandra Frazier, a navigator in the program at the Raymond Campus. 鈥淗is hardworking character makes me believe that he is committed to furthering his education, and becoming a successful, and productive citizen.鈥

For his part, he has enjoyed having apprentices of his own in his continuing education.

鈥淢y instructors and navigator really get on me to keep assignments done,鈥 he said. 鈥淭hey know how to keep me from not being disappointed in myself.鈥

MIBEST Mississippi Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training

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