Ben Williamson—Finding Passion in Education—CTE Contest Winner

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At CEC, our motto is Do Something Real, and each day students live this through attending Career and Technical Education (CTE) or for short “career” classes. These courses give them the opportunity to experience working in the real world by gaining the skills they need in the professions that interest them.

February was CTE Month and CEC Middle College of Denver, celebrated by encouraging students to write about what makes their CTE education “real” to them. We had handfuls of great essays, but in the end, we chose five winners and one runner-up.

Over the next two weeks, we will share with you the essays we felt most closely captured the essence of what we do at CEC.

Meet Ben Williamson, a part-time CEC student from Denver East High School, who is a student in the Crime and Forensics class.

Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon in which you can change the world.” Career and Technical Education at CEC has become a vital aspect in helping me find out what career I wish to study and eventually pursue. The hands-on learning about a field in which you are interested in makes you want to work hard and come to school every day, eager to learn. My fellow peers in the class are also interested in the same field and share the same passion and drive for furthering their knowledge as well, so there are hardly any distractions. Criminal Justice/Forensics is something I’ve been interested in ever since I was little; from playing cops and robbers in the alley behind my house with my neighbors to watching crime scene investigation shows on a regular basis. It is what I want to pursue in life.

At first, I wasn’t sure if the Criminal Justice field was for me so my counselor at my home school, East, told me about the class and I hesitantly joined it and decided to figure out what a career in Criminal Justice is all about. I had other career interests but Criminal Justice was still on my mind. I quickly realized after a couple of days in the class that, in police work, the challenge of waking up and not knowing how your day is going to go, having no repetition and no routine and catching bad guys while providing safety and security to the public is much more gratifying than anything else in the world (at least that is what I would like to think). The CTE class benefitted me by guiding my interests into what I want to do in life, and without it I’m sure I would have no idea still. It has given me valuable work experience, which I can apply, not only in college but also in life.

Career education is very important if you want to make an informed decision, especially when applying to college and furthering your education. You may think you like a career field but after studying it, you hate it. The career classes give you the luxury of not only finding what you’re passionate about but also giving you the opportunity to explore the field and really get a good understanding of what it takes to succeed at the next level. It is definitely an invaluable program and class. “Doing Something Real” is the motto at CEC and they take it literally. You really get information and a hands-on experience unlike any school in the district and possibly even the whole state. I would highly recommend anybody considering this school or taking a class to not even think twice and do something real. 

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