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        Page 12                                                                                                Electronic Edition:

                    From Popsicle Stick Miniatures to Carpentry: The Story of a Brooklyn

                    Center High School Senior

                                            and artistic, she sought solace in crafting min-  trades, including carpentry, electrical, plumb-
                                            iature houses out of popsicle sticks, inspired   ing,  HVAC,  drywalling,  and  painting.  Meya
                                            by tutorials she discovered on YouTube.  quickly made a lasting impression on every-
                                               It wasn’t long before Meya’s curiosity led   one she met. Her coach, Sam Ebute, describes
                                            her to explore the construction world.  her  as  “a  driven  and  organized  student  who
                                               In 11th grade, she enrolled in an introduc-  develops  inspirational  relationships  with  her
                                            tory trades class at school, where she learned   peers.”
                                            through  hands-on  projects.  Her  interest  was   For Meya, the appeal of the construction
                                            sparked.  As  she  put  it,  “Before  the  class,  I   industry lies in its ability to blend creativity
                                            didn’t  know  how  to  use  a  measuring  tape.   with practicality. Drawing inspiration from her
                                            Learning the basics was very interesting.”  love of drawing and the aesthetics of buildings,
                                               “There  are  so  many  options  in  the   she f nds fulf llment in seeing projects come to
                                            trades. It’s so satisfying to see the progression   life from conception to completion. “There are
                                            of a project”                       so many options in the trades. It’s so satisfying   tion  professionals.  Meya  says  “Five  years
                                                                                to see the progression of a project,” she says.  from now, I would like to be a journeyworker
                                               Next,  Meya  enrolled  in  the  Finishing   After  graduating  from  Brooklyn  Center
                                            Trades Academy, where high school students   High School, Meya will embark on the next   teaching other people how to do the work.”
                                            spend 2.5 hours during the school day gaining   chapter  in  her  journey  and  will  spend  the   Meya  Xiong  is  a  true  testament  to  the
                                            hands-on  experience  at  the  Finishing  Trades   summer as a full-time carpentry apprentice for   transformative  power  of  following  your
                                            Institute and earning high school credit. There,   Gardner Builders.   passion and embracing new opportunities. The
                                            Meya had the opportunity to meet fellow stu-                           future  of  construction  is  bright  with  talents
                                            dents and learn from their diverse perspectives.   “Five years from now, i would like to be   like hers leading the way.
            Meet Meya Xiong, a talented 12th grader   “Making connections with other students was   a journeyworker teaching other people how   Courtesy of the Construction Careers
        at  Brooklyn  Center  High  School,  whose   really  fun.  Everyone  is  at  different  levels,”   to do the work.”  Foundation
        journey  into  the  world  of  construction  is   said Meya. “I enjoy getting to see how other   As she explores working in construction,
        nothing short of inspiring.         people think.”                      Meya is committed to sharing her knowledge
            Like  many  of  her  peers  navigating  the   Eager to expand her skills, Meya joined   and  inspiring  future  apprentices.  Just  as  she
        challenges of online learning during the pan-  Lake  Street  Works  in  July  2023.  This  after-  was taught to be a role model for her younger
        demic,  Meya  found  herself  yearning  for  a   school  program  offers  juniors  and  seniors  a   siblings, Meya hopes to pass on her skills and
        more  hands-on  experience.  Always  creative
                                            platform to develop real-world skills in various   experiences to the next generation of construc-
                                                                               Moorhead House Remodel Demonstrates
           Finishing Trades Institute of the Upper Midwest

           Apprenticeship. College.                                            Former MHS Teacher’s Legacy
           A lifetime of success.                                              Continued from Page 1
                                                                               building.                           the careers they want to pursue as adults.”
                                                                                   “Mr. Olson had a special way with us.   And  while  Chris’  work  at  Probstf eld
              EARN WHILE YOU LEARN YOUR TRADE.                                 He  was  a  fun  teacher  and  had  everyone’s   makes him the Olson having the most impact
              JOIN A UNION FAMILY WHO HAS YOUR BACK.                           attention starting on the f rst day of class,”   on today’s generation of students, Stan isn’t
                                                                               explained  Spriggs.  “He  understood  that   done yet.
              AND MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS.                                    everyone in his classes had different back-  “I  have  a  nine-year-old  son  that  has
                                                                               grounds and experience with woodworking.   watched me over the years and has started
              BUILD A DEBT-FREE CAREER.                                        He  wanted  everyone  to  try  their  hardest,   to  take  an  interest  in  woodworking,”  said
                                                                               improve  over  the  year  and,  most  impor-  Spriggs. “He’s built a few tables of his own
                                                                               tantly, feel joy in what they created.”  and loves working with his hands. I believe
           FTIUM IS A NEW MODEL FOR                                                Chris reports that he has been making   Mr. Olson has played a part in my son’s love
           HIGHER EDUCATION OFFERING                                           connections  with  numerous  former  MHS   for woodworking as well!”
           FREE TRAINING IN TRADES:                                            students  who  took  classes  from  his  dad  in
                                                                               hopes of hiring as many as possible to be a
                  Commercial Painter                                           part of the remodel. He sees parallels to his
                  Coating Application Specialist                               parents’  work  in  the  district’s  present-day
                                                                               mission — particularly at the MHS Career
                  Drywall Finisher                                             Academy.
                                                                                   “It’s  super-cool  to  see  kids  f nding  a
                  Glazier                                                      career in something that they love to do with
                  Glassworker                                                  their  hands  because  they  love  to  create,”
                                                                               added Olson, who himself is in his 26th as
                  Sign Technician                                              a teacher in the district. “Today, the district
                                                                               has that with career and technical education
                                                                               at  the  Career  Academy.  It’s  the  future  of
                                                                               what mom and dad were doing in their time
           Learn more at                                             at  Moorhead  High:  hands-on  learning  for
                                                                               everyone that helps some students discover
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