Real Success Stories

Meet real role models working in various industries who have found success through alternative pathways after high school — and what they like about what they do! Looking to dive deeper? Complete this scavenger hunt to help you explore the many paths to success.

  • Colt Hahn


    I always wanted to grow up to be a cowboy like John Wayne, Lucas McCain or the Cartwrights. Owning and running a ranch sounded like a good time! That kind of lifestyle really appealed to me.  As I got older, I started to think about what kind of job I could actually have. To get a feel for the...

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  • Alex Richmeier

    Project Engineer

    I first became interested in construction when I was in high school. I’d helped some family members complete a few home renovation projects and really enjoyed the process. During that time, I was exposed to the planning, budgeting and execution required for even small construction jobs.

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  • Carrie Greenwood

    Program Coordinator

    Growing up, I had a lot of ideas about what I wanted my career path to look like. Little did I know that my path would lead me to be so passionate about working with youth with disabilities.

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  • Lacy Wolters

    High School Teacher

    I started my career journey as a wealth manager, which is someone who help people make good decisions about their money — which might sound like a far cry from a teacher, but many of the duties translate and still help me as an educator now. In college, I double majored in accounting and finance...

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  • Veronica Lara

    Bus Paraeducator

    As a child growing up in Mexico, my goal was to become a teacher. I helped my mom take care of my siblings, which sparked my love for childcare and education. To this day, I love working with children and enjoy advocating for everyone to treat others how they would like to be treated.

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  • Maverick Aggson

    Boat-Building Apprentice

    When I was young, I desperately wanted to be a sea captain. I would make boats out of paper, Legos, old baskets and cardboard to float in the kitchen sink. The ocean and people’s relationship with it drew me in. I knew I’d be happy at the helm of any vessel, from the greatest of ocean liners to the...

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  • Kelly Carmody

    Middle School Teacher

    Choosing a career was easy for me — I’ve never wanted to do anything but teach. I’d sometimes pretend to be a teacher when I was a kid, knowing I wanted to be a “helper” someday. To me, sharing knowledge with others sounded like the perfect way to serve my community.  

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  • Kristin Ray

    Elementary School Teacher

    Growing up, I never really thought too much about teaching. Initially, I really wanted to be in advertising. I loved watching the show “Who’s the Boss” when I was young, and I wanted to be a marketing executive just like Angela Bower in the show.

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  • Larissa Whitney

    Elementary School Teacher

    When I was really young, I loved lining my dolls up and reading to them out loud. I even tried to dress like what I thought a teacher would wear! My mom still has a picture of that scene in action, which means a lot to me today. It was a snapshot of what was to come!

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  • Brittany Horning

    School Library Media Specialist

    School was my safe place growing up. Many wonderful teachers supported me and my family through some difficult years, and I was inspired to teach as well, at a very young age.

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