(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Richard Spicer did not have to look far to find his motivation.

“I wanted to provide a better life for my daughter,” said Spicer, who just received an Associate of Applied Science degree from Texas State Technical College in Diesel Equipment Technology.

Spicer said his daughter was by his side when he was completing class assignments on his computer, as well as during the recent fall semester virtual graduation ceremony.

“I think she was trying to learn what I was having to learn right next to me,” he said. “She was my whole inspiration for going to school and earning a degree.”

Spicer said his wife also helped him during school.

“She always kept me going anytime I was down,” he said.

Spicer has already begun his career as a mechanic for Crane Service in Sweetwater. Crane Service provides crane and other equipment for the wind industry in West Texas.

It is common for TSTC’s Diesel Equipment Technology graduates to find jobs in West Texas either in the wind sector or oil field, according to instructor Shannon Weir.

“People trust our graduates,” Weir said.

Spicer has been using the knowledge he gained at TSTC in his hometown, something he wanted to do for his family.

“I am glad I found a job in my hometown,” he said. “I wanted to be able to work in Sweetwater so my family could be close.”

Spicer previously had worked for Love’s Travel Stop as a mechanic and wanted to expand his knowledge of engines.

“I always liked working on things,” he said. “Working on mechanical things at Love’s was a good way to start my career.”

Spicer was drawn to TSTC because of its hands-on approach.

“That gives you more a feeling of what you are doing,” he said. “It actually helped me out a lot. Attending TSTC was the best experience I have had in my life. TSTC is definitely a great school and with great instructors. They helped me reach my goal of graduating and providing my daughter with a better life.”

He knows his daughter has seen him doing his best, which has had a positive effect on her.

“She loves going to school,” he said. “The message I wanted to give her is that it is good to go to school and reach your goals.”

For more information on TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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