Brent Martin: Stay Focused and Don’t Play Around

Brent Martin

Joining the Air Force had always been his dream. Yet, when he found out in 11th grade that he had diabetes, Brent Martin could not join the military. According to the American Diabetes Association, the military still severely restricts enlistment for people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. But if you are already serving, you can seek to stay in.

“However, I’ve always liked electronics and machines, and was good at repairing things. So I decided to get my Associate in Electronics Engineering degree,” said Martin.

“In looking at schools, I didn’t want to go to a four year school and take on a lot of debt. So I chose to come to Forsyth Tech.”

His favorite instructor and advisor was Mr. David Rehder. “Mr. Rehder made sure we were registered for the right classes and we knew as much as we needed to know about what the environment will be like on the job.”

Brent has taken six classes every semester except this semester, when he only had three classes to complete. This schedule enabled him to complete his degree in two years while working part time on the weekends.

Through the 15 to Finish program, Forsyth Tech encourages those students who can to take 15 credit hours per semester to graduate on time.

When asked how he manages his schedule, Martin said, “I go to class every day and on time. I’m simply focused on school and don’t fool around.“

Martin didn’t need to join the military to learn discipline and determination.

John Moore: Finding His Purpose

John Moore

John Moore’s route to his current career wasn’t the straightest or most direct, but he feels it was the right one even when life threw him a major curve.

“I moved to Florida in 2009 to attend a motorcycle mechanics institute,” said John. “Two weeks before I was scheduled to start, I was hit head on by a John Moore: drunk driver while riding my motorcycle.” During his hospital stay, he decided Finding His Purpose nursing might be a good career choice. Once he returned to North Carolina, he attended the nursing program at Surry Community College. As a student nurse, he completed a rotation in the oncology unit at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Thats when I realized, I am very tenderhearted and knew I couldn’t handle being in a hospital every day,” said Moore. “Seeing cancer patients really got to me.”

John reflected on his passion and discovered what he may have known all his life: he enjoyed working on cars.

“I was building hot rods as a kid, so I wish I had decided this earlier,” said Moore. “Once I made this decision, I knew I wanted to open my own shop.”

John completed his Associate in Applied Science in Automotive Systems Technology degree at Forsyth Tech and graduated with honors in May 2016.

In May 2017, John opened Nester’s Automotive in Yadkinvillle.

Together with his father helping out, John offers numerous auto services including mechanics, repairs, and detailing. They also sell used cars when they have the inventory.

“I enjoy giving people straightforward advice when their cars cannot be repaired or if it would be cheaper to buy another car,” said Moore.

He finds it amusing when people call and want him to diagnose problems with their car over the phone. Moore laughs and says, “without seeing the car, thats like telling them the weather outside in a room without windows.”

John’s belief is that honesty is the key to a lasting business, especially in mechanics and auto sales. “People won’t come back if they know you are not being truthful with them,“ said Moore. “I’m counting on repeat customers.”

Maria Colamrino: Creating Her Life’s Canvas

Maria Colamrino

Maria Colamarino is working on another chapter in her life and is illustrating it beautifully.

Having attended college, worked, married, and raised four children, she decided to finish her education at Forsyth Technical Community College and started in the fall of 2016.

“I wanted to set an example for my children by going back to school to get my general education classes and seek my career path,” said Colamarino. “It was challenging to learn with students in my classes who were my sons age.”

She was impressed how the Forsyth Tech instructors made the classes interesting and motivational. Colamarino has encouraged her daughter to attend Forsyth Tech, and her husband and brother-in-law are already enrolled here.

Early at Forsyth Tech, she expressed her interest in becoming an art teacher. Two of her instructors, Cecilia Wright and Jason Lancaster encouraged her to pursue her goals. Lancaster recommended that she join Arts for Art Sake, the community of artists in Winston-Salem, and start
showing her artwork. He also advised her to enter the student exhibit in the Robert L. Strickland Center. As it worked out, she was the only student who submitted work, so she had a solo show. When she saw her work exhibited, she cried.

“I was moved that people thought my work was good, and they had it displayed just like I would have done,” said Colamarino.

Upon graduating from Forsyth Tech in 2017, she now attends the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, focusing on art education. She also plans to take a monthlong art study abroad in Italy this summer.

Art lets you live in the present moment and helped me discover who I am,” said Colamarino. “I want to use my education and talent to share with children. Art can be a positive influence on everyone to share their talents.”