After years of working in customer service, sales positions and real estate, Michael Turino decided to take a step back and reevaluate.
“I realized at a young age that I always had a passion to fix things, problem solve, build things and use tools,” Michael said. “I never knew how to get myself going in the right direction until I learned about Florida Career College and its HVAC program.”
The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program at Florida Career College (FCC) can be completed in as few as 10 months, which appealed to him. Also, with his customer service background, interest in doing hands-on work, and the demand for HVAC technicians in Florida, Michael said he thought HVAC would be a perfect fit.
“From the moment I walked into the Tampa campus, I was greeted by staff that honestly wanted to push me forward in life,” Michael said.
Michael said the staff at FCC Tampa supported him throughout the application process with an inviting and positive spirit. Once he started in the HVAC program, he experienced that same encouragement and positivity from the FCC faculty.
And recently, Michael received a boost to ease the financial burden of his education when he was awarded a scholarship from the FAPSC (Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges) Foundation.
Instructors Who Care About Student Success
“Our instructors are very driven to help you succeed. They try to expose me and my classmates to as much knowledge and experiences as possible in every lab and class,” Michael said. “With all this exposure, I've seen a change in my confidence when working on any unit.”
Michael describes Mr. Rozecki as one instructor who makes him excited to come to class every day and master the craft. “He's great at calming your mind so that you just enjoy the process,” Michael explained.
“Michael always comes to class on a mission to absorb as much knowledge as possible during his time at Florida Career College,” said HVAC Instructor Richard Rozecki, Sr. “He has balanced his classwork with challenges at home with such synergy that when he came to school in the morning, he would jump right in and start learning and helping other students pick up the day’s lab work. He was selected for the Student of the Month Award within his first two months in the program. He is one of my best students I have had during my five and half years teaching at FCC.”
Michael appreciates how each instructor in the HVAC program at FCC has a unique teaching style and brings distinctive expertise into the classroom. For example, instructor Jorge Hernandez “pushes students to be their very best,” he said.
“Michael is motivated, engaged with class activities and always willing to help his classmates,” Jorge said. “His grades are on the top on every module. He is that kind of student teachers never forget.”
Apart from an excellent student experience at FCC, Michael has had several obstacles to overcome outside of the classroom. Balancing his family life and schoolwork has proven to be a bit of a challenge.
His wife was suffering from end-stage renal disease and had to undergo dialysis for the past two years. While supporting his wife through this difficult time, he was also the primary care provider for their toddler. Add classes and homework into those mix of demands, and his schedule was jam-packed.
“The great thing with FCC is that they are understanding and they worked with me,” Michael said.
Thankfully, his wife had a successful kidney transplant last April. Michael continued to take care of everything at home during her three months of recovery.
Since starting at FCC, Michael’s life and his outlook on life as completely changed.
“Not only do I have confidence to do well in school, but confidence in everything I do,” he said. “My family life is better, I've been training for my first triathlon, and I am really looking forward to the future.”
Selected for FAPSC Scholarship
FCC is a member of the Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges (FAPSC), which serves as an advocate for career schools and colleges in the state. The FAPSC Foundation is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded for the sole purpose of providing tuition assistance to qualifying individuals interested in pursuing education through FAPSC member schools.
Three times per year, the Foundation awards 10 students with scholarships from among its member schools. Michael was selected from the applicants in the 2021 fall cycle for a $1,000 scholarship based on the essay he submitted.
“My biggest motivation will always be my family,” Michael wrote in the essay. “The experiences that have motivated me to pursue an education in HVAC at Florida Career College would be that I have always enjoyed working with my hands, even at a young age I had a passion to work with tools to fix and build things.”
“My personal goal is to have a long successful career as an HVAC tech at a major commercial company as a full time service technician in order to continue to move my family forward,” he continued. “I want to be able to provide for my family and set a good example for my son. I want to teach him that if you work hard you can accomplish anything. I know that with my certificate from Florida Career College, my 608 License, a year of training under my belt and my work ethic, I know I will be successful and accomplish my goals.”
“Micheal is such a delight to have on campus, and it has been rewarding for us to see his personal growth as he progresses through the HVAC program,” said Jim York, Vice President of Leadership, Culture and Learning, and Interim Campus President at FCC Tampa. “We are obsessed with student success at FCC, and Michael is a great example of perseverance through challenges with a focus on the future. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor!”