Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Bubba Ridings finds a new beginning, new opportunities, and new confidence in himself.
As a 42 year-old husband of 18 years and a father to three young boys, going to college wasn’t something Bubba Ridings was anticipating. However, that’s exactly where he found himself after some soul-searching and redirection in his life. “As long as I can remember, I have had a passion for big trucks. After driving big trucks and working as an owner/operator of my own business over the last 15 years, I decided to leave the driving behind to stay home and assist in raising my family. After being out of the trucking industry for a couple of years, I had a void in my life. I always knew that I loved to work on my own equipment, so I started pursuing a career in the mechanical side of the trucking industry which is why I chose to go back to school at Southeast Tech.”
And while going back to school for many non-traditional students can be challenging, Bubba has gone all-in. Not only is he the incoming President for the Student Government Association, he also serves as a Student Ambassador and has volunteered extensively across campus. Admissions Director Jim Rokusek notes, “Bubba is an incredible asset for our campus. He’s able to connect with prospective students extremely well and he is always willing to help us when we ask. I wish we had more students like him!”
In addition, Bubba is also a recipient of a Sponsor-A-Scholar scholarship that rewards highly-motivated students with financial assistance through an employer sponsorship. Bubba shares, “It’s an agreement between an employer in the industry and a student enrolled in the program of study for the employer. The terms of the agreement vary from situation to situation. For example some employers could pay for all of the student’s school and in return, the student works for the employer for three years after graduation. My situation is different. I was awarded $4,000 towards my schooling and in return I have to maintain a 2.0 GPA – I have a 4.0 GPA – and work for the employer one year after successfully graduating my program of study which is the Diesel Technology, AAS degree.”
Looking forward to another year on campus, Bubba isn’t slowing down anytime in the near future. “Going back to school as a non-traditional student has been very rewarding for me. It has given me more confidence in my field of study. It has also given me more confidence in the person that I have chosen to become.”
"My future goal is to teach others about the things that I have experienced in the field and from my education. Attending Southeast Tech is truly an amazing opportunity to anyone that knows where they want to go in life.” – Bubba Ridings