Student's Background: DeVaunte Parks started the PTEC program in 2011, left in 2013, tried to come back in 2015, returned in 2016 and eventually graduated in Spring of 2017. Life intervened, but with the support of family and friends, Parks kept his focus. He started at LDCC just two months after graduating high school. But with a semester-and-a-half to go, Parks quit going to class. "I left school because I had a baby on the way, and I felt like I needed to work a better job, get better hours, and focus on taking care of my family," Parks said. He spent that year focusing on family, and was ready to try college again in 2015, "But then I had another baby coming, and I had to refocus again." In Spring of 2016 he picked up where he left off. He re-enrolled in classes that he had passed before, eager to earn a better grade. "My oldest daughter will ask me in the mornings 'Daddy, are you going to school?' When I'm doing homework, she'll sit next to me and pretend she's doing it too. I told her I was graduating and she said 'Daddy, you're graduating?!' like she was proud of me."
"Life happens to everybody at some point," Parks said. "But you've got to be stronger than life."
Credential Earned: Devaunte earned an Associate of Science Degree in Process Technology.
Outcome: Parks secured employment at a Minden, Louisiana Plant with a starting pay of $34k.