Jevon Groenewold is not a traditional 19- or 20-year-old college student. But by no means is he unique in the collegiate world.
Groenewold is one of numerous adults working full-time jobs while taking evening classes at the Technical Education Center at Kansas City Kansas Community College. His major is auto technology but there are others available such as auto collision, electrical technology, major appliance repair, professional cooking, welding technology, machine technology, nail technology and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning).
Married with young children, Groenewold lives in Lawrence where his wife is a student at the University of Kansas working on a DMA. That means he gets up at 4:30 a.m. in time to be in Kansas City for his full-time job with a national retail company by 6 a.m.
“I work until 3:30-4 p.m. and then head to the Tech Center where I’m in class or working on cars until 8:30 or 9 p.m. and then home by 9:30-10 p.m.,” he said.
“My wife is the one who persuaded me to go back to college. Working full-time, I don’t have the time to take daytime classes but evening classes work great. My company has always treated me well and I enjoy my job but I feel as though I can do more for myself, my family and others. I’ve always had a passion for fixing cars. At 15 years old, my dad developed my talent when he bought my ‘well-used’ 1968 Mustang.”
Groenewold said his plans are to stay with his current company for a couple of years while earning a degree.
“But in the future, I would like to find a good dealership where I can gain experience and then go out on my own," he said. "I don’t really have a deadline but my personal ambition is to get everything completed as soon as possible and then have my own shop or be in a partnership with an equally moral friend.”
Enrolling in the auto technology program at the TEC came with a certain amount of apprehension, Groenewold said.
“I was worried that I was getting in over my head and hesitant to dive into the modern ‘computer operated’ vehicles of today," he said. "But that has all changed and I have gained a great deal of confidence because the degree program laid out by KCKCC is very simple.
“You take nine classes to get an ‘A’ certificate, then four or five more to get Certificate ‘B’ and five more for Certificate ‘C’ and your degree. Plus, the new renovated facilities at 65th and State Avenue are as good as you can find anywhere with state-of-the- art equipment, shops and classroom facilities that provide a full range of hands-on training.”
Curriculum and requirements for all programs can be found online at www.kckcc.edu/academics/TEC Classes will begin Aug. 19.
- Story from KCKCC