By Patterson Federal Credit Union
Carson Eddy is a junior at Arkadelphia High School. To know him is to know a hardworking young man that has a plan set out for his entire life. Eddy plans to be our Clark County Sheriff within 25 years, but he has some other big goals along the way. First, he plans to get a welding certificate from Arkadelphia High School’s partnership with ASU Three Rivers. Then, he will become a lineman and do that for 20 years while managing his side business (to include welding). Once his businesses are all in line, he plans to lead our county. He hustles and works for all of these goals. Eddy is a young man with a plan.
Eddy is currently enrolled in the Career Center at ASU Three Rivers. This program is in partnership with Arkadelphia High School. Students who choose to participate in the Career Center program are able to attend free of charge. The programs offered include Auto Technology, Welding, CNA, A&P Medical Terminology, and Criminal Justice.
Arkadelphia High School juniors and seniors are eligible to participate once they have taken the ACT or Accuplacer Exam and are in good standing to meet graduation requirements. Career Center students have the option to attend classes on the Malvern campus in the morning (if they provide their own transportation) or be bused by AHS for classes in the afternoon. A great benefit of this program is that these classes all happen during the standard school day. Students are able to learn these trades while still keeping up with any of their additional extracurricular activities and after-school jobs.
While Eddy’s main goal is to be a lineman for the bulk of his career, he sees the benefit of learning a trade that he can either fall back on or incorporate into the business he plans to run for himself one day.
He also is extremely complimentary of the education he is receiving in the Career Center at ASU Three Rivers. “The biggest benefit of the welding program that I have received is the fact that the instructor [Chris Stovall] is there to help with whatever you need,” said Eddy. “He will walk you through everything to make sure you are doing it the correct and safe way while sharpening my skills in welding in general.”
Eddy also recognizes that receiving this welding certificate will help anyone in the program be accepted into the next level of welding education and likely higher pay in a commercial welding job. While Eddy has chosen the welding path, there are other options to meet the interests of Arkadelphia students interested in a vocational route. According to Trent Smith, assistant principal of Arkadelphia High School, they would love to see more students — at least 30 or more a year — participate in these programs. Those interested in learning more for their students can contact Smith at Arkadelphia High School.