Edgar Kent was taking a test at Metro Tech when he casually mentioned that Metro Career Academy changed his life. After years of struggle, he explains, MCA made his son, Allister Kent, enjoy school again.
During his freshman year of high school at Harding Charter, Edgar knew his son’s homework load was unmanageable for him. A college preparatory school, Harding students take advanced classes designed to prepare them for a four-year university which Edgar says his son wasn’t quite ready for.
“Allister is a very smart kid but it was a lot for him to manage. He stopped wanting to go to school and getting him there became a challenge,” he explains.
With Allister in danger of failing that year, Edgar called MCA upon a recommendation from a family friend. Allister enrolled as a sophomore with a drafting and design career major and it wasn’t long before things changed. When asked what changed, Edgar proudly answered, “everything.”
“His grades soared and he was happy to go to school every day. He flourished being able to work more at his own pace because he struggled with staying focused,” he says.
While at MCA, Allister was vice-president of his SkillsUSA group and took minutes at the monthly advisory board meetings. It was during one of those meetings that he met an employee from Isch & Associates, a local civil engineering firm. Allister took the employee’s business card and pursued a position in drafting utilizing the career training skills he acquired at MCA. It was the leadership qualities he learned being part of SkillsUSA, and one of his teachers, Bessie Bryant, that inspired him to pursue the job.
“I felt that all my teachers at MCA really cared about me as a person. Mrs. Bryant’s husband worked in CAD drafting and she encouraged me to keep going with those courses,” Allister says.
He landed the job then graduated with his high school diploma in early 2013.
Almost a year later, Allister still works part-time for Isch & Associates and carries 12 credit hours as a Pre-Engineering major at Oklahoma City Community College. After that, he plans on attending the University of Central Oklahoma to one day be an architect. He also plays piano on occasion and loves the Beatles.