SUCCESS STORY: Samantha Reich, 2012: Electrical Occupations
~ by Felicity Weir: Health Assistant, Class of 2018
“I must say, I know this is a success story about a girl from New Castle who looked forward to going to school every day because it was better than graduating without a skill...”
As a 2012 LCCTC: Electrical Occupations graduate, Samantha Reich is a prime example of what our students strive for -- success.
Reich attended LCCTC as a first-time non-traditional student in Electrical Occupations. Like many current students, Samantha participated in various activities including Peer Leadership, Student Council, SkillsUSA, and Dual Enrollment. Her fondest memories include: her senior class trip to Cedar Point, making truly amazing friends, receiving the highest score on her senior project, and all of the life lessons given to her by her instructors.
Electrical Occupations instructor, Pete Montini, speaks of Reich in high esteem: “Sam was an excellent student. She did well in theory, excelled in performance."
The education she received at LCCTC made a big impact. Reich explains how her dual enrollment class helped her learn how to speak to people, and the theory portion of shop made furthering her education easier. She also points out that the ‘hands on’ education taught her how to take something that is drawn on paper and envision what it would look like when it’s built. It is no question that Reich learned to put all of her skills to use.
Montini later goes on to say he was excited to finally have a non-traditional student explaining, "More often than not, I have a bunch of guys in the shop, but adding Sam to the mix was a welcome change. Just as I had come to understand, females may tend to have a much greater eye for detail, and Sam did not disappoint."
When asked what kind of example Reich set for current students, Montini responded, “Sam set the bar for everyone, male and female, in all trades because she worked hard to get the best education in my field that she could get. She had the drive, the intelligence, the talent, and the initiative to learn all she could, and she did."
After graduating, Reich attended Youngstown State University, earning her Bachelor’s degree of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering in December of 2017. Mr. Montini explained how Reich had always geared more toward engineering rather than construction, so he catered to her educational needs as best as he could. Reich is currently employed as an Electrical Engineer at C.L. Firestone Inc.
Although co-op programs were available, Reich saw it best to stay in school full time as she took dual enrollment classes and would be learning important skills in her shop during her senior year. Reflecting back on that decision, she elaborates on the idea of wishing she had taken advantage of co-op because, even though she feels her courses taught her a lot, college set her behind on the learning curve as she didn’t get to experience her field on the job site as much.“We live in a world where it is more economical to have a robot do the job of ten humans. So the more people you get to know and the more real-world experience a person has fresh out of high school -- the better the more opportunities they have in the field."
Reich’s advice to current and incoming students is this: “Show up! ...And when I say, 'Show up,' I don’t just mean: 'Be present.' I mean participate, ask questions, pay attention, learn something, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and stay humble."
Samantha Reich is the epitome of what it means to be a success; she makes LCCTC proud.
“...however, LCCTC meant much more to me than just and education. Every instructor at LCCTC who was part of my journey will never know how much they and that school means to me and to so many others like me. It was because of that school and the people in it that I was able to find purpose and reason to change my life for the better. I will forever be grateful to those who helped me find myself. LCCTC is a success story of its own!” ~ Samantha Reich, Class of 2012.