Jared Goforth, fourth from left, plays his banjo during a break in his electrical technology class on the Mayo campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Goforth is shown with Kyle Griffith, Ryan Barber, Nik Slone, Instructor Charles Vanhoose, Dustin Jackson and Andy Penix.

Jared Goforth is a lot of things, but hes most proud of being a refreshing step back in time.

Goforth, 20, of Inez, is studying to be an electrician and will graduate in May with an Associate of Applied Science degree in General Occupational Technical Studies. He will also earn 11 credentials, including diplomas in Motor Controls Electrician, Industrial Electrician and Construction Electrician, and certificates in Electrical Construction, Electrical Trainee Level I, Electrical Trainee Level II, Residential Electricity Level I, Residential Electricity Level II, Electrical Motor Controls Level I, Electrical Motor Controls Level II and Solar/Photovoltaic Technologies.

Ive been busy, said Goforth, chuckling. Attending school here has been a great experience. The teachers care, and I love the hands-on approach to learning.

Goforth explored technical careers while taking exploratory classes at the Martin County Area Technology Center while attending Sheldon Clark High School.

Electricity really became my interest, and it was something I thought I could make a career of, he said.

Goforth already has several careers. Hes an accomplished musician. Every Thursday, Goforth, who played three years with the Kentucky Opry Junior Pros, entertains crowds at Front Porch Pickin at the Country Music Highway Museum in Paintsville as the banjo player for Black Powder Express.

His love for the banjo started as a young child, listening to bluegrass and gospel music with his grandfathers. Goforth asked his parents for a banjo for Christmas when he was 11 years old. He got what he wanted and taught himself how to play.

Its been a fun way to learn, said Goforth, who owns six banjos and 11 instruments, including fiddles and guitars. Theres something about strapping on the banjo that takes me to a whole other place.

During the summer months, youll find Goforth playing at bluegrass festivals across Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. Its our busy time of the year, he added.

Summer months also mean gardening. Goforth plants nine gardens on his family farm on Fluty Lick, located near the Martin County and Lawrence County line outside of Inez, Ky.

He has a tractor a 1953 model that he completely refurbished but prefers to use a horse-drawn plow.

My parents tell me I am a 20-year-old trapped in a 70-year-old body, in a good way, he said, laughing.

Goforth also raises pigs and chickens and is in the process of converting an old cellar on his property into a smokehouse.

Jared will be fine in this world, said Charles Vanhoose, an instructor of electrical technology on the Mayo campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College. I hear him tell stories of how he has plowed a neighbors garden or helped them wire a building. He has a heart of gold.

It isnt unusual for Vanhoose to learn from his students. It happens all the time, he added. With Goforths help, Vanhoose is learning to play the banjo.

Jared has stayed after class a few times to show me some chords and techniques, said Vanhoose. He even went so far to suggest some videos to help me along the way. Jared is another example of the great students we have here at Big Sandy.

After graduation, Goforth plans on working in the electrical field.

And Ill always be playing my music and farming, he said, smiling.

To learn more about the Electrical Technology program on the Mayo campus of BSCTC, contact Vanhoose at (606) 788-2888 or email cvanhoose0001@kctcs.edu.