Quinten Poindexter, Machining Student (CME)
-Student of the Month, January 2021
“I love it. I like expanding my skills,” is how Quinten Poindexter, Immokalee Technical College’s (iTECH) Student of the Month for January responded when asked how he felt about the machining program at the Center for Manufacturing Excellence (CME), iTECH’s career training satellite school in Golden Gate.
Professionally, Quinten Poindexter has a good career as a personal trainer and masseuse. At home, he is quite the handyman. He can fix just about anything, especially if it involves wood. He and his wife have a young son and recently welcomed a baby. Quinten was satisfied with everything about his life except he knew wanted to change careers. “I was always interested in working with metal. I didn’t even know that working in metal was a viable career until recently,” he said. That is when Quinten found the Center for Manufacturing Excellence in Golden Gate.
Quinten enrolled in the CME’s Machining program on August 31, 2020, and now, five months later, he has completed over half of the 15 month program. “I like the way the classroom instruction can be adjusted,” he said referring to the flexibility the teacher has in working with the students. Each student works at his/her own pace while adhering to the time parameters of the program, and the teacher is able to help students one-on-one. “I started off working on manual, mill, and lathe machines. I got used to working with metal, and I feel more comfortable now working with precision measurements. I have made a vice, a clamp, and a small hammer,” he adds.
Quinten, who always takes the time to lend a hand to a fellow student when he/she needs it, has already interviewed with several different companies. “There are a lot of listings for this kind of work. I feel confident going into the future,” he said with a smile.
Alex De La Cruz, Cosmetology Student
-Student of the Month, December 2020
There are some people who always forge ahead no matter how tough life is. They are the ones who are determined to succeed, to be the best they can be and prosper. One of those people is Alex De La Cruz, Immokalee Technical College’s December Student of the Month.
Throughout high school, Alex didn’t have much of a support system. Although there were friends and acquaintances who helped out from time to time, the only one that Alex could always rely on was himself! By the time he graduated from Immokalee High School in 2019, he had learned to speak English, and he had a plan. He was determined to enroll in iTECH’s cosmetology program, which he did in August 2019.
“I always heard what a good teacher she (Delia Lozano) is, and I like how she works,” recollects Alex. “The class is fun. The class is like a family.” That was the motivation that enabled Alex to work three jobs-Domino’s Pizza, Oakes Farms, and Home Depot- while attending the cosmetology program full time.
Alex said that in class some of the skills he learned were how to color hair, cut and style hair, apply make-up, and do nails, but his specialty and favorite thing to do is cut hair. When asked about the most challenging part of the class Alex said, “ It was learning to believe in myself and having confidence in my work.” He added, “We do a lot of art in the class. Doing hair is doing art. It is exciting to make a change for the client.”
Mr. De La Cruz is enhancing his experience by interning at the Dal Meraki Salon (his cosmetology teacher’s salon) in Immokalee and at a barber shop in Golden Gate . His goal is to own his own salon in downtown Naples. Don’t be surprised if you see the Alex De La Cruz Salon on 5th Ave. one of these days!
Widelyne Alcius, Medical Coder/Biller Student
-Student of the Month, November 2020
When GED teacher, Brad Myers uses the words, “hard working, persistent, great math skills,” to describe one of his former students, he is talking about none other than Widelyne Alcius, Immokalee Technical College’s November Student of the Month.
When Ms. Alcius enrolled at iTECH in December of 2017, she had just arrived here from Haiti and spoke no English. Her first step was to enter the English Language Learners Program taught by Laura Riesco Myers. Within ten months, she had mastered all the ELL competencies earning her Certificate of Completion in that program. ELL teacher, Lori Neal, who taught Widelyne during the summer session recalls, “Widelyne is a very positive person, very hard working and motivated to do her very best.”
Not wanting to lose any time, Ms. Alcius headed straight for the GED program. By December of 2019, just two years, almost to the date of when she first enrolled at iTECH, this amazing young lady had not only learned to speak English, but had earned her high school credential as well.
Ms. Alcius then took a semester off to work and to prepare herself to achieve her next goal which was to enroll in the Medical Coder/Biller Program in August this year. Medical Coder/Biller teacher, Donna Jolly, has nothing but praise for Widelyne. “Widelyne Alcius started the Medical Coder Biller program this semester and is very excited to be learning about healthcare. The enthusiasm she has for learning is evident in her demeanor. The caring that she shows her fellow students will serve her well in the healthcare field while dealing with patients and their families. She is a true example of where hard work can get you in life.”
iTECH is proud to honor super-student Widelyne Alcius as Student of the Month for November.