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Congratulations to Joao Neto, HVAC Class of 2019, and his daughter Gabrielle Palmeira, Dental Assisting, Class of 2020! On Thursday June 18th they “walked across the stage” and received diplomas from Southeastern Technical Institute. Here are their stories.

Both Joao and Gabrielle heard about STI through his son (her brother) who is a graduate of the Southeastern Vocational High School. Joao was ready for a change in careers and wanted something new working with his hands. The location of STI being so close to home made it much easier for him to stay committed while working full time and attending school in the evenings. Like his daughter, family was the #1 motivator and #2 was the need to make a change. What Joao likes most about STI is the hands-on work, ease of access, and practicality of the program. He is excited to put the 9 months of school to the test working in the HVAC field.

Gabrielle graduated from high school in 2016 and had been looking for the right school to help her start a career. One of the main reasons she chose STI for Dental Assisting was because it is one of the only schools in the state that offers the highest certification – Expanded Functions Dental Assistant. It was also financially affordable, only 9 months long,  and close to home. Her parents have been her biggest motivator. They have always worked hard for the things they wanted and instilled that in me as well. (Gabrielle was able to maintain a 3.9 GPA!) What she likes most about STI is having a fully functioning dental lab and being able to work hands-on. Gabrielle plans to work in the dental field and pursue hygiene school in the next few years. Her advice to others who may be considering going back to school is “do it! Nothing is impossible when you set your mind on something and if going back to school is the next step in achieving a successful career, it will pay off in the end. Hard work never goes unnoticed and if you apply yourself the instructors here at STI can help mold you into prime candidates for hire in the working world.”