Jumpstart Student Feature: Levi Patton

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Brazosport_Levi_PattonGED, workforce training both in reach through Jumpstart program

Levi Patton wanted a career, but the odds were stacked against him.

Actually, it’s never easy for someone like Levi, who dropped out of high school during his junior year. It doesn’t matter that the reason for quitting school was to provide for his newborn daughter, a lack of both a high school diploma and also job-skills training serves as a double-shot of challenges that are hard to overcome when seeking a potential career.

The one advantage Levi had, however, was a strong work ethic and a will to succeed. Brazosport College’s ATX Jumpstart program was a perfect choice for him.

Through the ATX Jumpstart program, Levi was able to take GED classes, as well as receive free workforce training in the pipefitting field. The GED-included ATX Jumpstart program is a 15-week program that assists students in earning both their GED and workforce training. The GED-included class was introduced after the success of Brazosport College’s original nine-week Jumpstart workforce training program.

“It really helped me a lot,” Levi said. “My cousin, James Bergeron, was also in it, and he graduated too. It’s great when you can get the skills to get a job and a GED at basically the same time.”

While enrolling in the ATX Jumpstart program gave Levi a chance, he knew it would be hard work in order to complete the program.

But Levi couldn’t just go to school because he had a family to support. To make ends meet, he went to school four days a week, while also working three jobs. In addition to school, he spent Fridays and Saturdays at a tire shop, Sundays at an air conditioning business and five nights a week working at a department store.

He admits it was a long 15 weeks, but it was worth it, as he now has a solid job in the pipefitting field. He’s even back at Brazosport College and is currently enrolled in the pipefitting program.

“The amount of pay has been incredible for us,” Levi said. “Before, I was living paycheck to paycheck. I didn’t have a high school education, so I couldn’t get into the plants. Jumpstart allowed me the opportunity to go straight into the plant and make real money.”

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