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Foundation helps student to support career – and family

Chad McGinnis

“I am very happy, because it would have been a very large burden on my family to be able to finish my program. In fact, I don’t know if I would have been able to continue to stay in my program for that semester without the support of the Foundation.”

- Chad McGuinnis

Chad McGuinnis sought a career shift and knew the first thing he needed to do was to enroll at Gateway Technical College.

He loved the Diesel Equipment Technology program and was excited about his future career prospects. He worked through his studies, but also had to make sure to take care of his family at home, something many Gateway students face every year.

He had reached the point financially that he needed a boost to be able to finish his degree and enter his new, family-sustaining career. That’s when the Gateway Foundation stepped in.

Fueled by two scholarships, Chad was able to continue his studies and finished his degree in Spring 2019. He entered his career before graduating and is excited by  his future prospects.

But Chad said the key to making this happen when it did was the support from the Foundation.

“I couldn’t have finished the program without the two scholarships. Those two scholarships combined was able to able to get me over the top – and be able to finish my program.

“I am very happy, because it would have been a very large burden on my family to be able to finish my program. In fact, I don’t know if I would have been able to continue to stay in my program for that semester.”

Chad received an American Truck Historical Society Beer City Chapter scholarship and a President’s Scholarship. The American Truck scholarship, started in 2015, supports a student enrolled in one of Gateway’s Diesel programs.

When Chad – who was in the health career field as a nurse – enrolled in the Diesel program, he knew little about being a diesel technician but did know that he needed structured training to succeed.

“I was not satisfied in nursing. I have always enjoyed fixing things, and my wife said, ‘Why don’t you think about the automotive field? You seem happiest when you’re fixing cars.’ I felt that there was a greater need for diesel mechanics and chose to go into that program.

“I didn’t know anything about diesel. I wanted the challenge, wanted to learn how to work on diesel engines but knew I needed a degree to do that. That’s when I enrolled in Gateway.”

Chad is convinced he made the right choice for himself and his family.

“It will allow me to do something I enjoy doing and enable me to support my family while doing it. I will be living a far more fulfilled life than I would have otherwise.”