Sometimes a parent’s counsel is not always appreciated right away. It’s not until we mature that we truly understand the meaning of it. Such is the case with Kristina Ropos.
“My father told me at the age of 12 that I didn’t need to go to college to be successful. At the time I thought he didn’t know what he was talking about and that he must not have believed in my abilities,” Ropos said.
Ropos, Consultant for Career Tech Planning Districts with the State Support Team in regions 10,13 and 14, would soon have her “aha” moment. In high school she was accepted and began attending the Montgomery County JVS (now the Miami Valley Career Technology Center) in the Architectural Drafting Program. It was during this time she realized what her dad meant about needing a skill.
“He told me I just needed a skill that filled a need that was in demand,” Ropos said. “Whether through college or career tech the paths all lead to the same end which is a career.”
The college route can lead to debt afterward to pay the loans needed to attend four to six years. The average college debt, according to the Federal Reserve, among student loan borrowers is $32,731. Career tech students can make a living once graduating high school, student loan-free, in such fields as engineering, construction technology, environmental studies, and human services.
The passion Ropos carries for career tech education has earned her state and national recognition. She is one of seventeen selected state-wide for the Shoemaker CTE Institute, a fellowship program in which Ropos will enhance her leadership skills in career tech education.
Also, Ropos is one of twenty-one honorees recently selected for the National Leadership Fellowship Program. The Association for Career and Technical Education presented her the fellowship for her work in the Postsecondary Adult and career Education Division. The Fellowship program identifies, trains, and motivates leaders who will continue to advance the word about career tech education.
“Career tech is not an alternative to college. It is another lane on the continuum of achieving an education and a career,” Ropos said. "It was all too evident how smart my dad really was.”
Kristina Ropos is the MCESC.