Moving forward with his dream

Summer grad returns to MCC for fall classes

Life doesn’t always travel in a smooth straight line. Opportunities are like that, too.

Take 47-year-old Lauderdale County resident David Wyrick for example. Wyrick worked in the manufacturing division of an international business for more than 25 years until his job shifted south to Mexico. Certainly, the downturn in his work career was a setback but he discovered he had options, specifically the chance to go to college.

“I always wanted to go back, get some kind of education. That was in my future when I got out of high school. But of course, money was talking at that time and I never did go back,” he said.

Turning to Meridian Community College, Wyrick is moving forward with his dreams. “It took me 30 years to go back,” he said with a smile. “But I’m here.”

Last fall, Wyrick enrolled in the College’s Welding and Technology Program, successfully completed a year’s work with top grades and received his technical certificate earlier this month. Working in the welding arena was something Wyrick always wanted to do. “And I know there’s good money in it. I wanted to become my own boss, build my own things,” he said.

Going back to school was the course for him. “This was a good opportunity to do that.”

Paying for his education has come through help from the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) – a program that seeks to provide adversely affected workers with opportunities to obtain the skills, credentials, resource and support necessary to (re)build skills for future jobs. “It’s helping me out a lot. Without the TAA, I wouldn’t be able to do this… I’m fortunate to have this opportunity. Take all the education I can.”

This fall, Wyrick is enrolled in five classes at MCC, pursing his associate in arts degree which begins Monday, Aug. 13, when the academic year gets under way. “I’m excited about getting my degree. If I can further my education from that, I’d like to.”

With a personal mantra of one step at a time, Wyrick is on his way. He added, “I’m venturing into it.”

Pictured: David Wyrick, right, talks with Shane Simmons, his welding instructor. Wyrick is enrolled in full-time classes for the fall semester.

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