JCCC Stories

Australian earns GED® then plugs into Electrical Technology

July 28, 2017


Love and encouragement = Success

Nontraditional is only one word that describes JCCC student Phillip Peters. He’s also determined, bright and enterprising. His story is not at all traditional, but it’s one that leads to a successful career in electrical technology and a happy personal relationship.

Australian-born Peters met Amy, an American professional, while both were on holiday in Canada. They were almost instantly attracted to each other. For two years, their long-distance relationship involved 21-hour flights (one way) to and from Australia. They married in June 2015 and moved to Lenexa, Kansas.

After moving to the United States, his wife encouraged him to take the next step in finding a career he was passionate about … and he did, at JCCC.

Education amped up

Passing 10th grade in Australia qualifies as enough education to earn a trade certificate. Peters was a successful mechanic in Australia and while practicing that trade, he discovered he liked working with electricity.

To fulfill his career aspirations of working with electricity in America, Peters had to first earn a GED®. He attended classes at Johnson County Adult Education’s West Park location while waiting for his work visa and work authorization forms to be processed. Peters also learned about American history while completing his GED®, which he really enjoyed.

“I had time to apply for scholarships at JCCC,” Peters said. “I was very happy to complete my GED® with the great teachers at JCCC’s West Park campus.”

Then, after some research and advice from JCCC counselors and reading electrical technology coursework descriptions, he knew an associate of science in electrical technology is what he wanted to set as a goal. He enrolled shortly after earning his GED®.

Classroom and internship ‘likes’

During his required program work and internship, Peters had an opportunity to get one-on-one instruction from his teacher, Charlie Randazzo, at JCCC, a 16-year veteran of the profession and master electrician.

“He answered any question I had and taught me so much,” Peters said. “I learned a lot in the JCCC classroom. It gave me confidence to do the work outside of class.”

Peters liked that:

  • JCCC electrical technology instructors have many years of teaching and trade experience.
  • Instructors informed him about many career choices in different electrical fields.
  • JCCC provided a safe and fun classroom learning environment.
  • Internships were part of the Electrical Technology program.

Queensland vs. Kansas

While living in Australia, Peters’ first impression of America was not positive. Unfortunately, his only sources were from the internet and social media news.

“Though now living here for nearly two years and visiting 31 states, I have found America to be quite beautiful and the people very accommodating,” he said. “I love Kansas City barbecue and Major League Baseball … Go Royals!”

He said Kansas has similar terrain as Darling Downs in the state of Queensland, Australia, but the summers are longer in his homeland.

“I miss my family the most,” he said.

“I am very happy to have moved here, earned my GED® and Electrical Technology associate’s degree at JCCC, started a new career at Faith Technologies and most of all I have a great life with my beautiful wife,” he said. “She was my greatest encourager to go to JCCC … with my new career and my lovely wife, I’m a very happy man.”

Brighten your future

Shine a new light on your future – check out Electrical Technology programs at JCCC. If you’re wondering how to make college affordable, contact our Financial Aid specialists and check out scholarship opportunities, too.