A Ideal Success story – Nigel Garland

From student to employee…NIGEL GARLAND tells his story

First off, I would like to start by stating that I am grateful to Ideal Institute of Technology. It is a very good place to be for anyone who desires to further their education.To be honest, I had never heard of Ideal before I began attending the school in a work activity through the Work Force New Jersey Program (WFNJ). My wife and I were on a government-assisted program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Since we were not employed, we were mandated to be active in some sort of work activity. The requirements of the activities consisted of 35 hours per week attendance.

One of the counselors that worked with WFNJ informed my wife and me that we had the option to attend school as an alternative. I was more satisfied with the idea of enrolling in school versus “engaging in community service.” With that bit of information, I took the opportunity to “right my wrongs” as far as education was concerned. I thought, “Okay, maybe I’ll give myself another chance at this education thing.”

Ideal was one of the places that was mentioned when I inquired about the programs and services that are provided. I previously heard about Atlantic Cape Community College, Stockton University, and a few other places that offer educational opportunities, but I wasn’t too interested.

Ideal was unfamiliar to me, so I figured I would try something different. The word “Ideal” was what caught my attention. Before I got there, I didn’t have a clue what it would be like. However, the experience of my initial visit captivated my interest. The people were very polite and helpful. I learned something about computers my first day. To be specific, I was taught about motherboards inside computers. I learned that it was the foundation of every PC. It didn’t seem like much, but it was enough for me to be comfortable with the idea of learning something new.

I haven’t always been open minded to learning, but that bit of information gave me the desire to expand my capabilities. Since I felt like I learned a little something about computers, I thought it would be a good idea to participate in the computer class. I enrolled in the computer and cell phone course called CompTIA A+. Over a short period of time, I learned how to repair iPad and iPhone screens by researching information and watching videos on the internet. One of Ideal’s instructors introduced me to the basics of doing research on mobile repair. He also taught me the necessary steps of ordering sufficient parts for repair purposes. Once I applied what I learned from him, I took it and ran with it.

My first screen repair was on a LG K7 mobile phone. I knew someone that had a phone with a shattered screen and a damaged/blacked out LCD. By coincidence, I happened to have the exact phone at home, which was not being used, so I agreed to replace the bad screen with my screen. The school provided the necessary tools required for the repair.

When I arrived at my destination to repair the phone, I surfed the internet to research LG K7 screen replacement. I followed the step-by-step instructions as directed in the repair guide. The phone functioned perfectly fine when I powered it back on. To say that I was excited would be an understatement. My first screen repair was a success!

I was so thrilled that I made a public service announcement about it on Facebook. Requests to repair phones got to the point that I began generating money from my new “hobby.” To be completely honest, I didn’t know it would go that far. My instructors at Ideal didn’t know about my endeavors until I came and showed some before and after photos of my screen repairs. Through sharing my experience, an unexpected door of opportunity opened up for me because I was included in some events from which I formerly would have been excluded. I was the main repair tech in two “Technothon” Fundraisers presented by Ideal. Not only that, I am now officially employed at Ideal as a Cell Phone Repair Technician.

My life can be quite mind-blowing sometimes as I reflect on my past. Although I have made an abundance of progress during the past year at Ideal, I actually had it quite rough being born and raised in Atlantic City. I was exposed to a lot of negativity at a young age so I engaged in some “not-so-pleasant” activities that lead to some legal issues. During the process of foolish decision making, I didn’t have any important priorities so I felt free to “do what I wanted.”

The huge difference now is that I have a wife and three children that depend on me so I refuse to be that careless. Besides my family responsibilities, I also want what’s best for me. I feel the need to show others that change is necessary as well as possible.

My experience at Ideal is vivid proof there is hope for a good future. Change is possible even if you have an unfortunate past. Fortunately for me, I took advantage of an opportunity and became a living example of the phrase, “It’s never too late.” My journey will not stop here though. I still have many goals to accomplish. I’m confident that Ideal Institute of Technology will help anyone with
purpose to accomplish their goals.

The most important thing to remember is that we are all a team and can help each other succeed. I encourage everyone to bring your dreams and hopes to Ideal. You will be completely satisfied with your experience.

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