Tuesday was an amazing day for two Lynn Vocational Technical Institute seniors as they and their school were featured on ABC-TV’s ‘Good Morning America’ show.
Tech students Nyssa Lewis and Brian Lopez Mejia were interviewed live by GMA host Robin Roberts on SkillsUSA National Signing Day at which time Lewis and Lopez Mejia indicated that they would be beginning their careers in the skilled trade of carpentry following their graduation.
Also appearing on the GMA segment were Lynn Tech Principal Carissa Karakaedos, Lynn Tech SkillsUSA advisor Jason McCuish, and Lynn Tech carpentry teacher Ken Beaudet.
GMA is broadcast locally on WCVB-TV and the show averages 3.5 million viewers per day.
At the outset of the report, Roberts told viewers that “the construction industry will need to hire 430,000 more workers in 2021 to meet the growing demand.”
Beaudet said on the broadcast that there is a need for workers in many of the trades.
“They need more young skilled labor – if you went and looked at job sites that are out there, I think almost every single company is actually looking for help,’ said Beaudet.
McCuish added, “There is not only one path to success, there are many. And one of the great paths to success for many of our students is that to walk right into the skilled workforce.”
Lopez Mejia spoke about his childhood and his introduction to building things. “My mom, she’s an immigrant so when she came here, she had to really start from the bottom and build her way up and I feel like that’s motivated me to do the same,” said Lopez Mejia. “When I was younger, I loved building things and just seeing creations that I had in my mind come to life. And I feel carpentry is very similar to that and it’s like everything has meaning to it once it’s finally done.”
McCuish praised Lopez Mejia’s academic achievements at Tech, saying, “What makes Brian such a standout student is pretty much everything – he’s really emerged as an incredible leader.”
Lewis has been driven by her mission to help others, said Roberts.
“When I was younger I used to know a lot of homeless people in the streets and I always wanted to build a shelter for them,” said Lewis.
She expressed her gratitude to the Lynn Tech faculty and the carpentry program. “I didn’t know anything about carpentry. I didn’t know the wood, the dimensions, nothing. It was definitely a change for me, but it worked out and I loved it. Knowing that I’m doing something with a purpose just makes me want to do it even more.”
Karakaedos lauded Lewis for her drive and determination to excel.
“The first word that comes to mind for me with Nyssa is: “resilience,” said Karakaedos. “And Nyssa continues to move forward every single day.”
During the live segment, Lewis and Lopez Mejia signed their letters of intent for the SkillsUSA National Signing Day event.
“Congratulations to both of you,” Roberts told the students. She then asked Lewis what the moment meant to her.
“This moment really means everything to me,” said Lewis. “I’m closing my chapter in high school and I’m starting my career in carpentry.”
Lopez Mejia was asked about working in carpentry and the joy that it brings to him.
“The joy that it brings me, there are many reasons behind it,” said Lopez Mejia. “But I would say the main reason is that in carpentry, you’re able to build whatever is on your mind. You sketch it out on paper. You draw the dimensions and then you’re able to see it come to life with your hands and being able to work through it. So I feel just being able to see my creations come to life – that’s what brings joy to me, knowing that everything I build has a meaning behind it.”
Roberts then surprised the students with a presentation of $5,000 scholarships from 84 Lumber. Each student will also receive an iPad and “the tools that you need to set you up for success.”
“That’s awesome,” said Lopez Mejia.
Yes, it was quite a day for Nyssa and Brian as they prepare to graduate from Lynn Tech, a school that has put them on a path to success in their careers.
(The information and quotes for this story were taken directly from the May 4 broadcast of ‘Good Morning America’).