Handsome, blond hair, hazel eyes… and into everything.
That’s my son Brigg. My wife Jennifer and I became proud parents in 2015 and right away our priorities started to change. I wanted to spend more time at home with Brigg and Jennifer, but had to work more and more overtime hours as a police officer to support them.
I kept asking myself how I could take nine and a half years of hard-earned experience as an officer in the Houston area and make a career change without falling behind.
My father-in-law had an idea – community college, with a two-year program to give me the training I needed for a career in the petrochemical industry. Even better, the average starting pay could be as much as $100,000. I was all ears.
I enrolled in Lee College and dug deep to pay for my first semester completely out of pocket, still working overtime hours as an officer. Going back to school put a strain on our family, but we weren’t discouraged. We knew it was going to be a tough couple of years with some sacrifices, but anything worth having never comes easy. We trusted that it would work out.
My trust and hard work paid off. One day during class, my Lee College instructor talked me into applying for an ExxonMobil scholarship. It was part of a grant provided to nine Houston-area community colleges for job training in process technology, supply chain management, pipefitting, welding and more.
It was a long shot but I submitted the application anyway. A few days later I got the good news – I had been selected, which meant almost everything in my second year in school would be covered financially.
But more importantly, the scholarship opened a door. I applied for a full-time operator position at ExxonMobil’s major chemical plant expansion project in Baytown. I got that, too.
Now I’m turning in my police badge for a hard hat and rewriting our family’s future. I started my full-time job this summer with the company as one of 350 new workers at the plant.
I’ve pushed through some tough times to make this career change, and I’ve achieved part of my goal. I say “part of” because I plan to continue learning so I can advance my career into higher roles within the company.
My hard work is paying off. I’m proud to be achieving my goals so I can lead Brigg and Jennifer on a brand new journey.