21-Year-Old Graduating HVAC-R Program, Prepares for Next Step
December 9, 2020 - Samuel Miles may only be 21 years old, but he has a solid career plan for becoming a general contractor. Miles is graduating this month from Richmond Community College’s Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology program, which he feels has given him essential skills for going into the construction business.
While Miles still has a lot yet to learn, the young man from Laurinburg is one of RichmondCC’s “Rising Star” December graduates. December graduates are students who complete their degree after the fall semester, rather than the spring semester.
Miles is working second shift as a machine operator at Service Thread while also going to college. Once he graduates from RichmondCC, he plans to transfer to East Carolina University and major in industrial technology.
Random Decision to Right Path
Miles didn’t always have a clear career plan. However, taking college classes while in high school through RichmondCC’s Career & College Promise (CCP) program helped him discover what interests him.
“While attending Scotland High School, I was made aware of the dual enrollment classes that the high school had with Richmond Community College. Since I had no direction of where I wanted my life to go, I had my class chosen for me randomly by my guidance counselor,” Miles said.
Miles took the Introduction to Refrigeration class at RichmondCC in fall 2017, and what started as a random decision has resulted in a clearly defined educational and career path.
“I knew I wanted to work toward completion of this college program,” Miles said.
Miles also took a RichmondCC welding and business class while in high school, both of which will help him in his future endeavors. These dual enrollment classes were free for Miles, but once he graduated high school and became a traditional college student, he received financial aid.
“This was an amazing help to me and my family,” he said.
Located on RichmondCC’s Scotland County Campus, the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology program, also known as HVAC-R, provides students with the basic skills to work with residential and light commercial systems. They learn about mechanical refrigeration, heating and cooling theory, electricity, controls, and safety. Those in the program who are pursuing an associate degree like Miles also learn about residential building codes, residential system sizing and advanced comfort systems.
Lead instructor for the HVAC-R program, Bill Frye, considers Miles one of his star students.
“Sam has a fantastic memory that serves him well on recall of important procedures, electrical circuits and diagnostic skills,” Frye said. “He is articulate and above all a very pleasant young man.”
Excellent First Step
Prior to coming to RichmondCC, Miles had no work experience or training besides what he had learned in high school.
“The Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration program gave me the first steps required to make my career a reality,” Miles said. “RichmondCC was an excellent first step in my life, which I would definitely recommend to others.”
For More Information
To learn more about the HVAC-R program at RichmondCC or free dual enrollment classes for high school students, call (910) 410-1700.
The College is currently registering students for classes this spring semester, which begins Jan. 28. Visit the Hamlet Campus or the Scotland County Campus to speak to a counselor.