FORT MOHAVE — Jean Thomas wants to see more of her students dressed like Brandon Rivera was Wednesday evening.

Rivera, a senior at the Academy of Building Industries, wore a work shirt from S&S Concrete, where he is doing an internship.

Thomas, AOBI’s principal, said that Rivera is taking advantage of the opportunities the school offers.

She encouraged parents at the school’s open house to ensure that their teens get certain items out of the way, so that AOBI can help them get headed for success.

“Make sure they have a driver license and a vehicle and can pass a drug test,” Thomas said. “Because I can get them a job … a really good job.”

The high school focuses on vocational education in the building trades, alongside regular core curriculum.

Thomas said local businesses frequently complain to her about their difficulties in finding the workers they need.

“There are opportunities available for those who are willing and serious,” Thomas said.

The open house offered parents and community members a chance to examine the school’s programs.

In the wood shop, they saw Jerry Blevins make a magic wand on a lathe.

In the metal fabrication shop, they heard instructor vocational director Coy O’Kelley and students Devon Silva and Johnny Griffitts discuss a student restoration of a 1939 Ford.

In Bob Risse’s history classroom, they got to participate in a trivia competition, with the winner receiving a new car — a hand-sized yellow Camaro.

The evening also included dinner, door prizes and raffles of donated and student-made items, including a shed.

Rivera and Arden Kyle also spoke about how the school has helped them reach their goals.

Kyle said he had an interest in skateboard-making and that school staff connected him with an internship in which he acquired the skill. He now owns a business, Spiffy Skateboards, which donated a custom deck for the auction.

 

Article written by Mohave Daily News

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