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ACE IT Carpentry Program helps students succeed

Most people know that carpentry and construction work take blood and sweat, but Joy Wosk knows that it takes tears too. From the age of five, she had been the only girl on her baseball team. So when one of the boys in her ACE IT carpentry program made her cry, she just held her head up and carried on. Eventually, she and that boy became the best of friends.

Joy graduated from high school a little over a year ago and she says the practical skills she's learned in construction make her feel useful. Carpentry and construction are definitely demanding, but Joy believes anyone willing to put enough work into it will succeed. It may have been intimidating at first, but her passion has kept her going.

Joy's high school counsellor recommended that she apply to the ACE IT program after seeing her excel in woodshop. "It was the only class that I took for myself," she says.

The Carpentry ACE IT program ran for nine months and certified her as a Level 1 carpenter. Her time in the ACE IT program consisted of Day 1s at her home school, Magee Secondary, and Day 2s at Killarney Secondary. She continued to play on the soccer and basketball teams at her home school while doing the ACE IT program at Killarney.

Joy took biology, law, English and woodshop on her Day 1 at Magee. On Day 2, her ACE IT day, the class started with time in the shop. Usually they would work on a project, such as roofs. In the afternoon, the class would sit down with their textbooks and study theory.

Joy says that if she had simply applied for a course at BCIT, she would not have been ready for it. She knew woodworking quite well, but she went into ACE IT not knowing anything about carpentry. And she is grateful that the ACE IT program helped her secure an apprenticeship and then a job at Randhill Construction.

Joy says she learned a lot from the ACE IT program, but she also learns new things everyday on the job. "Nothing goes exactly according to plan," she says. It has taught her to improvise and to keep things interesting. She never imagined that she would learn so much in her first year on the job.

Even though Joy is content with where she is at the moment, it doesn't mean she will stop learning. Her short" term goal is to obtain her Red Seal certification. Her long" term goal is hefty: she hopes to start a construction company with her brother.

Written by: Cindy Ou, Work Experience Student Photo Credit: Noriko Nasu" Tidball

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