Besides working toward an HVAC degree, Kameron Cross is working a job that gives him real-world experience in his field for an HVAC company that’s offering him tuition reimbursement.
Kameron admits he wasn’t too motivated in high school in Portland. Upon graduation, the HVAC program and low tuition drew him to SMCC, where he’s receiving guidance and financial support through the Maine Community College System’s Embark program.
Now that he’s here, he’s motivated and has the promise of a bright future while learning skills that are in high demand. He earned a 3.92 GPA his first semester in the fall.
When he’s not in class, he works for Freeport-based Royal River Heat Pumps HVAC company. Besides giving him real-world experience, Royal River has agreed to reimburse him for his education. The higher his grades, the bigger the payback — straight A’s will get him 100 percent reimbursement.
Kameron likes the HVAC field because it gets him out and about while using his hands and his mind.
When he was in high school, he worked here-and-there jobs such as a dishwasher, a fast-food cashier and a window washer. But he realized those wouldn’t lead anywhere, so now he’s taking control of his future.
“Going into a trade seemed very practical. Everything they teach you here is what you’re going to be applying in the field.”
Margaret Brownlee, ‘here to help’
Margaret Brownlee is your one-stop shop for help with your career. As SMCC’s Director of Career Services, she can offer advice about your resume, provide interviewing tips or help you explore what kind of career might be best for you.
A graduate of Deering High School in Portland, Brownlee has a bachelor’s degree in performing arts from Wells College in Aurora, N.Y., and at one time wanted to be a professional dancer. She later earned a master’s in education from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., and is now working toward an Ed.D. in educational leadership at the University of New England.
Brownlee came to SMCC last year after working at the University of Southern Maine in admissions, advising and the career hub.
In her current role, she helps students who stop by her workplace in the Advising Office. She gives classroom presentations about resumes, internships, interviewing and the future of the workforce.
She organizes SMCC’s annual job fair and networking events with area businesses. She helps students find jobs and evaluate career path options.
“I like working in a place where I can have an impact on large numbers of students. I’m here to help.”