On the weekends you will find senior Sam Case snowmobiling or working on a piece of equipment. “Ever since I was little, I have had a love for any piece of equipment I could ride in or drive,” Case says. He enjoys hands-on work and has always learned best this way. His passion for engines and equipment is now guiding his future career as he prepares for his summer internship with RDO Equipment Co. and school at North Dakota State College of Science Wahpeton this fall.
Everything seemed to fall into place with the help of his teachers and advisors. His agriculture teacher connected Case to Tom Dryburgh who manages the work-based learning program. Dryburgh saw Case take full advantage of the program and the opportunities it provides students. "Sam had an idea of what he wanted to do and just needed a little guidance and opportunity to pursue his future," Dryburgh explains. "That's the goal of our program, to provide students with a head start to begin their careers or academic futures. I am so happy to see the success he has found with RDO." This program combines classroom instruction with practical work experience that is directly related to a field of interest for students. Dryburgh helped Case set up an internship and job shadow experience with RDO Equipment Co. That’s where he learned about the Access your Future program.
Jeff Schneider is one of Case’s teachers at the Moorhead High School Career Academy. “Sam is an amazing student in our trade and industry classes,” says Schneider. “He thrives in the trades classes due to his mechanical aptitude, hard work ethic, great communication skills, drive to do things the right way, and has wonderful attention to detail.”
Case will begin his full-time paid internship this summer at RDO. He earns credits towards his degree at NDSCS. “I am excited for this opportunity, because once I graduate from college a full time job opportunity exists for me,” Case says. He feels good having the security of a career post graduation. Since the early 90s, RDO Equipment Co. has partnered with schools to hire talented students. They offer educational incentives up to $16,000 post-graduation and provide learning opportunities throughout college and full-time career opportunities upon graduation.
Classes at the MHS Career Academy allowed Case to experience hands-on learning in areas he was already interested in. Through small engines and automotive classes at school, he was able to confirm future career possibilities. “All of the teachers I have had have been super awesome,” Case says. “They are fun to be around and make it fun to learn.”
Looking to the future, Case is excited to own a home and have a family. He plans on staying in the Moorhead area, or possibly closer to a lake. For now, he is getting ready to start his internship this summer thanks to the support of teachers providing him with opportunities tailored to him.