Esquimalt grads anticipate a tactile future

Esquimalt High graduates 154 students this year, some of whom are clear on their immediate plans

Sam Stringer

Sam Agnel and Sam Stringer don’t plan to work another day in their lives.

The 2012 Esquimalt High grads aren’t independently wealthy, but they are eyeing future careers they say will be so enjoyable, it won’t feel like work.

“My parents always told me that if you find a job you enjoy, you’ll never work another day in your life,” said Agnel, one of 154 students in Esquimalt High’s 2012 graduating class.

He is currently wrapping up Grade 12 and plans to take a 10-month heavy duty commercial mechanics course at Camosun College in September.

The Vic West resident first felt a calling for automotive mechanics when he took a small-engine power technology course in Grade 10. That led to studies in the school’s automotive program in Grade 11 and 12.

Then, as part of Esquimalt High’s career program, Agnel worked in the heavy duty mechanics trade for a local company for one week in March.

“I had a lot of cool experiences, and that’s kind of what motivated me towards the heavy duty industry,” the 17-year-old said.

“I like to be working with my hands. I like to be outside. I like that it’s fairly constant work.

“I couldn’t really see myself sitting in a cubicle for the rest of my life, pattering away on a keyboard.”

Unlike some of her friends, Sam Stringer has long had her eye on a future career as a high-end fashion designer.

“Ideally, I’d like the be one of those people who, on the red carpet, say, ‘I’m wearing Sam Stringer,’” she said.

The skills the Saanich resident has honed since first sitting down at a sewing machine at age eight have already proved useful.

Stringer, 18, designed not one, but two prom dresses for herself, as well as gowns for two friends.

Stringer says she has blossomed as a designer, largely due to her high school’s textiles program.

“That’s why I liked Esquimalt (High), once you pick your field you can really run with it,” she said.

With the June 4 graduation ceremony at the University of Victoria, and June 9 prom at CFB Esquimalt’s Wardroom behind her, she is looking ahead to September.

She will study fashion design and technology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University on the Lower Mainland.

She feels fortunate to have found her talent early in life.

“It’s hard to watch all my friends who are struggling who don’t know what they want to do next year,” Stringer said.

While some of Agnel’s friends are planning to pursue studies in nursing or business this fall, among other academic interests, others are taking time off from school to travel.

Agnel, meanwhile, feels grounded in the decision he has made to pursue a trade.

“I think knowing is half the battle,” he said with a smile.

emccracken@vicnews.com

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