Reporter REGIO: episode 8
The Technical College Lațcu Vodă, a stepping stone for future craftsmen from North-East
Success stories, possible with the support of Regio Nord-Est 2014-2020
It was the summer holiday towards the 8th grade and he had a decision to make: what should he do with his future? A decision that no one has asked for and one could think he had all the time in the world, looking at other colleagues of his age , kicking the ball on the soccer field. But, at the age of 14, he was very mature about his direction in life, knowing clearly what he will do next and where he is heading. He received all the support and guidance from his family and during that vacation, he tried to find a way, HIS way. For a short time, he was a waiter. He didn’t like it. Then, being a chef aid didn’t feel like it suited him. Afterwards, his father recommended him to learn how to be a mechanic at the car service in his village, close to home, to see if he likes it. He went there every day for about 6 weeks. He realized from day one that this is what suits him, that he wants to learn more and maybe, one day, he would have his own car service.
Iulian Nichiforel or Nichi, as his friends are calling him, is 19 years old, is in the twelfth grade at Lațcu Vodă Technical College in Siret and he is one of the direct beneficiaries of the project implemented at the college, with non-refundable European funding of 1.2 million euros, from the Regional Operational Programme. He is very passionate about cars and auto mechanics. With special wisdom for his age, Nichi planned his career step by step, so that he would go through all the stages of learning a job and achieving his dream.
He preferred the vocational school in the small town Siret to the high school in Rădăuți City
He was born in Turrin, Italy, where his parents sought a better life, like many other families in the region of Moldova, 20 years ago. When they divorced, he stayed with his grandmother in Romania, in a village named Horodnic de Sus, near Rădăuți. He finished secondary school at „Bogdan Vodă” in Rădăuți, a famous school in Suceava County and he surprised everyone, colleagues, and teachers when, at the end of the 8th grade, he said that he wanted to attend a vocational school. Not a high school, because he wanted to learn a job and to go through all the stages of practical learning. „I searched for information, I asked teachers, I looked all over the internet and the best school where I could learn what I wanted, in the automotive field, was in Siret, at Lațcu Vodă College. I said I will go there to learn a profession, . because nowadays everybody requires experience, even if you have a university degree. So, I started with the first step and finished three years of vocational training at Lațcu Vodă Technical College. I didn’t want to go straight to high school because once you turn 18, you can’t go to vocational school. That was my decision„, says Iulian.
From car mechanic to transport technician, at Lațcu Vodă College
He finished every year of vocational studies with an average over 9.50. He is the kind of student who stands out, asks many questions, and seeks answers, always concerned about knowing more. He had all the support, since the 9th grade of Mr. foreman Constantin Pintrijel, who took him under his wing and advised him to go to high school, also within the college. He obtained a diploma in auto mechanics, and an „Excellent” qualification in the final vocational school exam and went further towards his dream, entering high school, in the transport technician profile. Now, in the 12th grade, he is seriously preparing for the baccalaureate, the final exam. „Out of 30 students from the vocational school, about 5 of us also chose to go to high school. The rest of them stopped, got the degree and that was it? That’s all they needed. I believe that wherever you go to work and if you have a vocational school it means that you have certain knowledge, you are not starting from scratch. The internship helps you gain the experience so demanded by employers, but the facilities of a college with a technical profile also help enormously. The vocational school helps you a lot. Maybe you know how to unscrew a screw, but then you get stuck because you don’t know what to do next. The years of vocational school can give you the necessary foundation to start something and it gives you the confidence that you can do anything you want„.
``I'd go to foreman school here, gladly!``
Also in high school, he has good grades, average over 9.30, and says, smiling, that he regrets finishing the twelfth grade now. If he could, he would repeat the year just for the sake of the new college facilities. „There are some very high-performance car simulators that you can learn to drive, we have new workshops, very well equipped. There are some devices that we haven’t had the chance to get our hands on so far. On the one hand, I’m sorry that I’m finishing the twelfth grade. Future generations are very lucky. I was actually saying that if I could, I would repeat the year just to enjoy the new equipment more. I am tempted by the idea of staying here and doing a foremen’s school. I would be a mechanic, then an auto technician, foreman, and engineer, so I would step all the stones. Especially now with these benefits, I would love to do foremen’s school here„.
He would like to go to University in Iași City or Suceava City, on an electric automotive profile. He believes that nowadays everything is going electric, especially cars. Now he is at that point when he studies the offers of universities in order to make a decision. Cluj City also tempted him at one point, but he decided that he wanted to stay in the North-East Region, closer to home. For now, his main concern is to get good grades on the final exam.
He has a nice relationship with his father and teachers
Iulian has a special bond with his father, he is the one who guided him and was by his side in all the decisions he made. They are best friends and Nichi tells us what a surprise he got on March 8th, this year: „I had the final driving test exam. I passed it and the first time I got out of the car, I called my father. I tried to fool him and tell him that I failed, but when he started encouraging me and telling me not to be upset, I quickly told him the truth. Then I heard a horn from a parking lot and saw my dad get out of the car and he said, «This is yours, congratulations! » He came all over Germany, where he works, to make this surprise. I have a special father, but I also never upset him, I kept to school, we supported each other. First, he is my friend, then he is my father. It is a beautiful, harmonious relationship, difficult to explain in words. We communicate all the time, I don’t hide anything from him„.
Nichi has also a great relationship with the teachers at school. He has a special relationship with Mr. Deputy Director Antonio Mustață, they go to football together, on Thursdays, to the match between students and teachers, and Iulian says that it is a very nice relationship created between students and teachers from Lațcu Vodă College. Somehow, at Siret, Iulian Nichiforel found his second family. For him, the guidance he received here was very valuable in his choices, and now, in the twelfth grade, he advises those who want to make a career in the automotive field, to take each step towards evolution one by one. The theoretical part is important, but more important is the practice in such a complex field. “I advise anyone to start as low as possible and then work their way up. Then you will have the pride of having gone through all the stages, and the gained knowledge is valuable. There are many who directly target engineering, , in college, but they don’t know anything about the basics. Myself, who I have gone through everything, I can now go to an employer with my heads up. The diplomas prove the experience I have. Lațcu Vodă Technical College offers you the perfect environment to be able to learn a job, especially now after it has been so well equipped and modernized„, says Nichi.
Iulian Nichiforel is one of the students for whom Lațcu Vodă Technical College made a difference. And like Iulian, there are many more students eager to build a future at home, through a job learned at home. And now, with the help of this European funding, the future of a whole generation can be changed.
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