Adam Baker said he considers taking steps toward becoming healthier the best decision he has made. The second best, he said, is his decision to attend Southern Union State Community College. He said that decision helped him reach his goal of earning a six-figure income within a year’s time of his graduation.
Baker shared his journey from drug rehabilitation to an associate degree during the monthly Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees meeting at Southern Union on Wednesday, Oct. 12.
Baker, a South Carolina native, said he started taking classes at Southern Union after successfully completing a drug rehabilitation program and working a job at a local family-owned business. Baker said he realized he was not using his full potential, so he enrolled in classes at Southern Union. 
He said a Southern Union employee was instrumental in helping him obtain an internship at Briggs and Stratton. After earning a full-time job at the company, Baker started training in Southern Union’s Mechatronics program.
Baker maintained a 4.0 grade point average while working full-time at a job he started prior to graduation.
“All the teachers and staff at Southern Union were very helpful in not only teaching me and instructing me but also recognizing that I had a lot on my plate,” Baker told trustees and guests at the meeting. “They didn’t necessarily cut me slack, but they understood what I was doing and my goals and they accommodated that. They helped me find an opportunity to do even better, and I couldn’t be happier.”
Baker encouraged others to consider community college for technical careers in Alabama.
“I think that it’s great if you have a passion and want a four-year degree. You should follow that. But for people who are looking for a career and to find something that interests them in the trades, I think that the amount of money and time and effort that you put into it, for what you get out, is astronomical,” he said.
“It can’t be beat. The opportunities are endless.”