Photo by Denise Sullivan, NPCC News Bureau
From left, Fear with the Canterburys: Chris, Toby and Melvin.
As Chris Canterbury watched his father Melvin restore old vehicles in the garage of their Gap Mills, W.V. home, he slowly came to the realization that wanted a career doing the same thing – the only question was how to get the education he needed to do it for a living.
With her son’s high school graduation quickly approaching, Chris's mother Toby began searching the Internet for colleges that offered automotive restoration programs. It wasn’t long before North Platte Community College in the middle of Nebraska rose to the top.
“After researching the auto body programs at several colleges we just felt that North Platte Community College would be the best fit for Chris,” Toby said. “The program looked really good and we also liked the fact that North Platte isn’t a big city. It just felt very comfortable.”
Toby contacted the college and connected with student advisor Janet Fear, who said that the Auto Body Technology program at NPCC provides students with the basic knowledge and skills for all phases of the auto body industry, using the latest equipment and training materials.
Fear noted that one of the highlights of the program is the opportunity to work on a classic car that is restored and raffled off by the college each year.
After learning more about the college and what it offers, the Canterburys made a decision that NPCC was the place for Chris to be. They loaded up and made a three-day trek across the states, arriving just in time for Chris to get checked in to the dorms and ready for the first day of classes.
“We get a lot of inquiries from all over the place, but it is unusual for a student to put complete trust in us, move across the country, and start school the next day,” Fear said.
At this point, Chris says he isn’t sure whether he will head home after earning his 44-credit hour diploma or if he’ll stay an extra year and earn his associate of applied science degree. He does, however, know one thing for sure.
“I want to learn everything I can while I’m here,” he said.