Scholarship opportunities allowed student to find his calling

Brandon Diana

An open house at Stark State College cemented it for Brandon Diana. Automotive technology was his calling, and SSC, he found, was the place to pursue it.

The Jackson High automotive program graduate knew the College’s program had all the right parts. “I was impressed with the automotive center and the faculty and staff,” he said. “The price was right and I received a scholarship that paid for my first year.”

Maintaining the required high academic standards, Brandon also completed the lift truck program on his way to an associate of applied science degree in automotive technology. Going to school five days a week, he also was a student worker.

After graduation, he found himself drawn to education. “I wanted to become an instructor,” he said, referring to the example set by his mentor, Automotive and Transportation Technology Department Chair Ken Buie. He encouraged Brandon to get experience in the field, then pursue a bachelor’s degree. Following that advice, Brandon’s taking general education classes at Stark State and Kent State University and will be transferring them to the University of Akron to complete his bachelor’s degree.

Already, though, he’s been called upon to serve as an SSC adjunct instructor in automotive and transportation technology. “You might have a roadmap for your life, but you don’t always know where life is going to take you,” Brandon said. “For me, the future came faster than I expected.”

And it was that initial scholarship that opened the doors. “I know firsthand,” he said, “how a scholarship can help people pursue their dreams.”