February 21, 2017 | | Student Success
James “Mickey” Kelly recently has been named the 2016 Outstanding Student of the Year (OSY) by the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) at Chattanooga State Community College. Kelly graduated in December with his Computer Support Technology technical diploma. Kelly had always been good with electronics and thought he would be good at computers too. “I took to it like a fish to water and now I love IT,” says Kelly.
Each year TCAT instructors select exceptional students that show leadership, great performance, and service in their classes to compete for this award. Kelly competed in the Regional OSY awards in January, where one of nine competitors is picked for the top student in the state. Kelly also is a member of SkillsUSA, a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. Skills USA holds the banquet for the state OSY award.
Kelly says his instructors, Mike Mercer and Jill Wentworth, were very supportive of him. “They were always there to help and point me in the right direction. They encouraged me and pushed me to excel,” he says. When chosen for the OSY award Kelly was very surprised. “It was the first time I had ever won anything like that,” says Kelly. He hopes being named OSY will help him stand out more as someone who goes the extra mile.
His goal now is to begin his career in computer technology and eventually work his way into cyber security. With his technical diploma in Computer Support Technology and his A+ certification from Comptia, he can start a career as a computer hardware technician, computer technology specialist, networking specialist, and more. “It is an excellent program with knowledgeable instructors that can and will help you find your career path, and help you get there,” shares Kelly.
He says his time at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Chattanooga State was one of the best experiences of his life. “I will cherish my memories of my time there, and will always be thankful to the school and my instructors. I would encourage anyone considering going back to school to do so, and would highly recommend TCAT Chattanooga. I wish that everyone could have the experience that I did,” says Kelly.