Teddy Girma, an adult student in Tulsa Tech’s Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning program (HVAC), is one of our latest scholarship recipients thanks to a generous grant offered by the Oklahoma Mechanical Inspectors Association (OMIA).
“I feel very honored, and extremely blessed to have received this scholarship,” Girma said. “It couldn’t have happened at a better time, so I am truly thankful to the Oklahoma Mechanical Inspectors Association, and my instructor Mr. Hawley, for everything they have done to help me.”
Girma was awarded the scholarship in early November, a gift which originated with a suggestion from OMIA Treasurer, Eric Blalock.
“Our organization had offered scholarships in the past,” Blalock said. “I thought it was an idea worth re-visiting, so we put some materials together, presented it to the committee and they voted to approve.”
According to Blalock, the OMIA feels it is important to support CareerTech students in their pursuit of technical training, and the organization plans on continuing to offer the scholarship in the future.
“Our goal is to offer the scholarship each year,” Blalock said. “Our plan is to provide the scholarship with funds generated from our annual conferences, along with the sales of code books.”
Girma, a native Ethiopian who arrived in the United States at the age of thirteen, became an American citizen in 2012, and was a former undergrad at Oral Roberts University before eventually discovering just how much he enjoys working to solve mechanical problems.
“I really enjoy diagnosing and repairing mechanical problems,” Girma said. “It’s almost like a puzzle to me, the entire process of troubleshooting, finding the exact problem and then fixing it. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to study at a university, but there is something that I really enjoy about technical training.”
Tulsa Tech’s HVAC program allows students to design and install heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems, troubleshoot electrical problems, and interpret blueprints to customize HVAC controls in a residential or commercial setting. Girma hopes to steer his career toward the area of the industry that focuses on the efficiency of systems and utilizes related alternative energy sources.
“Efficiency is probably one of my main areas of interest in HVAC,” Girma said. “Exploring what changes can be made to a certain system, or to the house, that will improve the overall efficiency of the residence.”
Tulsa Tech is the oldest and largest technology center in Oklahoma’s nationally-acclaimed Career Tech system. Providing affordable, industry-standard technical training in an engaging, innovative learning environment, where students benefit from instructors with years of valuable industry experience.
Students have access to over 90 full-time career majors, all designed to help individuals upgrade job skills or retrain for a new career in a short amount of time. Tulsa Tech is a highly-diversified institution that rivals the complexities of many colleges and universities, and serving as a link between students and the developing economy of the Tulsa metro area. Strong partnerships with businesses and industry organizations in the region create unique opportunities for student placement, work-based experiences, and career-related scholarships.
“I would encourage other adult students to explore the many programs available at Tulsa Tech,” Girma said. “Great instructors, with the latest equipment, and for me it has been a fantastic opportunity to pursue my new career. Again, I would like to thank everyone at Tech, and the Oklahoma Mechanical Inspectors Association for their assistance.”