Hope is the third TK student to ever win the Divisional Grand Award at the Michigan Industrial and Technology Education Society competition. That means her blue-ribbon project was judged the best overall among all the blue-ribbon projects in her division.
She also won the first MITES live CAD competition last year and repeated her win this year. During the live contest, students have three hours to create a 3-D design from a 2-D drawing. Hope finished her project in about one hour.
In all, she brought home six additional top three honors at the MITES contest and gained even more confidence in her abilities and what her future holds.
“I didn’t expect all of it. But even if I didn’t get the awards I would still be proud of myself for all of the hard work I put into the projects,” she said.
Hope, one of the top 10 students academically in her class, discovered her love of engineering after taking an introductory drafting class her freshman year of high school. “After that first year it just kind of clicked for me, and I knew it was something I wanted to pursue.” Since then, she’s taken at least one engineering class every year and now plans to major in mechanical engineering at Michigan Tech.
Her achievements in the classroom didn’t go unnoticed by others. When representatives from Bradford White approached high school teacher Scott Meyers about looking for interns, Meyers was quick to recommend Hope.
“I work about 30 hours a week with the product design engineering team at Bradford White. I started last spring, and now they’ve offered to let me continue working while I’m in college,” she said.
“I’m so thankful for the opportunity I’ve had working at Bradford White. I work with such a great group of people who have taught me so much.”
Hope said the real-life work experience has been invaluable. “It’s not like making projects in the classroom. I’ve learned a great deal about working in a business environment. Communication is a key thing, and I have a better understanding of how a business functions and all the different roles,” she said.
Being a female in a male-dominated career path, Hope said she’s not phased one bit. “I’m confident in my abilities, and I know I can do it,” she said.
She credits her parents, Keith and Alison for encouraging her to follow her passions. “My parents definitely helped lead me down the right path and encourage me with everything they taught me,” she said.
She also credits her teacher Mr. Meyers and the school for providing the opportunities to explore engineering and develop her abilities. “I think the engineering classes and programs are very good here. TK always places high in the MITES competition, and we have a lot of students who participate,” she said. “It’s pretty impressive for a smaller school.”
As far as what happens after college, Hope said she’s interested in the automotive field, but also open to other possibilities. “I’m just going to see where life takes me and what God’s plan is for me. I’m definitely excited to go to college and keep moving on in life.”