My name is Spencer Green and I am 25 years old. I was born and raised in Layton, Utah, and I have two wonderful younger sisters: Shelby and Savannah. Growing up, I learned the value of hard work from both my Dad and Grandpa who built houses for a living. As a young child, I couldn’t wait to be old enough to build houses with them. This was an aspiration that stuck with me through most of high school. But in 2008, my Dad was building five spec homes when the economy crashed.
Like so many other construction companies that were hardest hit during the recession, my Dad was forced to close his business. Though my sisters were still too young to understand, I was old enough to feel the stress that my parents were going through. Despite how difficult that time was for our family, I got to witness my parents pick up the pieces and go to school. My Dad enrolled in the Diesel Mechanic program at the DATC and my Mom enrolled in Nursing Program.
Though my Dad didn’t actually finish the Diesel program, it did lead him to a really good job which has in turn led to him to a high-paying independent contractor position working with Toyota. My Mom did finish her program and is now an RN, working as a liaison for LDS Hospital.
Seeing my parents pivot in their careers and persevere though hardship taught me to never give up, even when I’m not entirely sure of what lay ahead.
Throughout high school, I was very passionate about drafting. I completed all of the classes necessary, but because of an administrative error I was unable to receive my drafting certificate and ineligible to enter the workforce immediately after graduation. As I was very discouraged by this, I decided to explore some different employment avenues after high school.
While working at a Subway restaurant in 2011, I met a customer who was a Security System salesman with stories upon stories of how awesome and adventurous his life and job was. Because of our discussions, I decided to quit my job and move to Hawaii with just a hundred dollars to my name and sell security systems.
Within just a few months of knocking on what seemed like a million doors, I decided security system sales was not for me. So, I moved back to Utah to try and get my life back on track.
When I arrived home, I was desperate for work. Fortunately, my neighbor was a General Foreman for a mining company named Brahama and he was able to hire me on as a Laborer starting at $15/hour. Unfortunately, as with most mining jobs,
layoffs are a regular occurrence based on experience and seniority. As I was the youngest and least experienced out of everyone, I was constantly at risk of being laid off. Through the downtime, I was able to find another construction job at Guest Brothers Concrete. This was a great job for about 9 months, but when our contract ended, I found myself unemployed again.
It was at this time that I decided to leave the construction industry and explore some other routes. That is when I got my current job as a tuning specialist for DPS Skis. I have been at DPS for 3.5 years and it has been a good experience. When i first started, the company only had ten employees and was a very niche ski company specializing in aerospace carbon fiber skis that have an infinite life span. Over the past few years, the company has grown in size and I have grown in responsibility. Though I enjoy my role as the Production Manager in the Tuning department, I’ve always known that this wasn’t the career of my dreams. So about 18 months ago, I began researching different job industries with expanding opportunities.
Over the years my Mom has always hinted at the idea of me attending DATC. When I finally took her up on her advice, I immediately found the Digital Media Design program. After researching the field for a few days, getting costs figured out and adjusting my work schedule, I went to my Mom with my plan. Though it was a great plan, there was one major element lacking… The money to pay for tuition.
My mom being the awesome lady that she is said “Bud, all you need to do is apply and get accepted and you will find a way to make it work”. The next day I began the enrollment process.
Immediately after speaking with Omar Bravo about the curriculum, the industry, and the career opportunities that the Digital Media / Web Development field had to offer, I knew this was the right place for me. I had never been so excited about going to school in my whole life!
Once I actually got started in the Digital Media Design program, I couldn’t stop! I get excited every time I get to work on my projects and I’m always ready to talk with people about how awesome this program and industry is. I am only half way through the program and I am already able to design logos, custom graphics, and responsive websites! I already have seven freelance clients with more coming my way. It seems that everywhere I look I run into someone that needs a website…
It is crazy how digital media is needed in so many different industries. The diversity of employers who have digital media positions available gives me great confidence that I will have plenty of chances to be financially successful and work at a job that I love. I’ve met too many people who make a lot of money, but hate their job. In digital media, I get to express myself in my work and because
technology is constantly changing, I am be forced to continue learning and expanding my potential.
But as bright as my future is, I am currently limited by having to balance work and school. As I am only able to attend class 12 hours per week, the program is taking longer than it normally would for someone who is able to go to school every day. This scholarship would not only allow me the chance to quit working at DPS and instead go to school every day, but it would also allow me to much more quickly gain employment as a web designer (where I could actually get health care and benefits). It would also allow me more time to work on freelance projects while still in school.
In closing, I would simply like to say how grateful I am to all the people who made it possible for me to attend the DATC and find a career that I love and will provide for my future. The DATC truly does change lives!