To say the student body at Blackhawk Technical College is diverse is an understatement. Students who attend BTC sometimes attend the college right out of high school. Others come back to school after 5, 10 or even 20 years. Last year BTC had a 70-year old student earn her GED. For Haley Lehman, she waited just one year after high school to attend BTC and now because of her high school Project Lead the Way program, she is on her way to becoming a mechanical engineer. BTC sat down with Haley to learn a little bit more about her background and what she intends to do in the near future.
Where you were born and where do you live now?
I was born in Janesville, WI on September 4, 1997 and I moved to Monroe when I was 7.
Where did you go to high school? What kind of activities were you involved with while you were there?
I attended Monroe High School. I was really into theater but I also did forensics, which is a statewide speaking competition, where I preformed monologues.
Do you currently have a job?
I work at the Colony Brands contact center as a phone representative.
With so many college choices, why did you choose to attend Blackhawk Technical College?
When I graduated from high school I was still unsure about what I wanted to do about college. I decided to attend Blackhawk after taking a year off because my eldest brother had attended and it seemed like a good place to start my higher education.
What career are you hoping to pursue when you finish at BTC?
First, I plan to transfer to Highland Community College to get an associate degree in engineering science, and then I want to continue at University of Wisconsin at Platteville to get a degree in mechanical engineering.
What barriers have you had to overcome to attend college?
I mostly had to overcome my own anxieties. I was worried about the financial aspect as well as being able to handle the classes while having a job and other responsibilities.
What do you like best about attending Blackhawk?
I like that all the instructors are easy to work with and they are very understanding and accommodating.
What do you find the most challenging part of attending college?
The stress of meeting due dates while also working has been a bit overwhelming at times.
Tell us about your family.
My family consists of my mom, dad, two older brothers, and myself. My mom and dad both attended Platteville and my eldest brother attended Blackhawk. They have definitely encouraged me to pursue higher education.
Recently, you did a psychology project on your life where you used a Project Lead the Way logo. Did that program have any influence on your career choice?
The Project Lead the Way classes I took in high school are what started me on the path I’m on now. A close friend of mine convinced me to take the intro to engineering design course and I absolutely loved it so I decided to take the rest of the classes as well.