EUGENE, Ore. - After multiple high schools and lots of frustration, a man who grew up in Springfield didn't think he'd ever find his path, but a trade school in Sacramento, California helped him find what he was passionate about and turned his life around.
Parker Silva went to both Thurston High School and Springfield High School, but said he just couldn't find the right fit. He said he just wasn't inspired about learning and eventually dropped out.
It wasn't until he discovered Universal Technical Institute that he learned he loved to work on cars. He said it was a lot of work to pursue a program at UTI. He had to get his GED before he could even get into the trade school, but he says it was all worth it.
“Having those people look to you for advice feels really awesome, and to be able to have the schooling behind you and know that you can help fix it is a great feeling,” Silva said.
Parker now works as a service technician for Kendall Toyota. He said he wishes there were more CTE programs when he was in high school, so he could have learned a long time ago how great his future could be.
He hopes that more students consider trade schools, because he knows from personal experience that a traditional four-year college path isn't for everyone.