Kyle Griffith, 20, left, works with Instructor Charles Vanhoose in the Electrical Technology lab on the Mayo campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College.

Two years ago, Kyle Griffith was at a crossroads many high school seniors find themselves at this time of year.

He was an accomplished student, ranking third in his senior class at Allen Central High School. He attended the Floyd County Area Technology Center while at Allen Central and participated in SkillsUSA, a national partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.

SkillsUSA and the Mayo campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College have shared a longstanding partnership in providing regional Area Technology Center students a facility to compete in a regional competition. It was here that Griffith found his passion.

I didnt want to just go to college, I wanted to find a career, he said. I think everything happens for a reason, and when I toured the Mayo campus and saw the facilities, I knew this was where I wanted to study.

Griffith met Stephen Music, an Industrial Maintenance instructor at BSCTCs Mayo campus, during his senior year while competing in the Machine Tool Technology competition with SkillsUSA.

Immediately, I knew he [Music] was genuinely interested in my success, said Griffith.

Music knew Kyle had something special when he met him.

You could feel he had a desire to learn, said Music. That has carried on over the past two years. Hes an ideal student, and I have no doubt he will be very successful.

Griffith, 20, has made the most of his college experience. He was the first student in a technical program to be named to the prestigious Honors Program at BSCTC. Created in 2005, the Honors Program provides full-paid scholarships to recipients and focuses on students as holistic individuals stressing open-mindedness, individuality, creativity and free thinking.

Part of the scholarship also allows Griffith and other recipients to take an Honors course taught by BSCTC President/CEO Dr. George D. Edwards.

Dr. Edwards is a man of great character and demonstrates the kind of leadership we all strive for, said Griffith. The class has opened my eyes to a world of great opportunity.

Dr. Edwards said the course is a chance to engage students to discover their individual possibilities, while reaching their ultimate potential.

We want to prepare our students for promising futures in diverse careers, said Dr. Edwards. Students like Kyle show our future is in capable hands.

Griffith will graduate in May with an Associate in Applied Science degree in General Occupational/Technical Studies. He will also earn a diploma as an Industrial Maintenance Technician and certificates as an Industrial Maintenance Machinist/Mechanic, Industrial Maintenance Electrical Mechanic, Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Level I and Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Level II.

Charles Vanhoose, who teaches Electrical Technology on the Mayo campus, said Griffith is a thinker and never afraid to tackle a challenge.

Griffith is modest of the accolades. Ive been fortunate to have many teachers who have cared about me and my success.