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January 2007

Making the Grade

By the age of 20, Arturo Diaz had worked as a mason, painting contractor, horse trainer, jockey and bull rider. Yet, the young man said he's not finished with his career goals; he wants more, striving to some day add structural engineering to his long line of accomplishments.

Throughout his high school years, Diaz supported himself by working as a painter; however, by the time he graduated, Diaz already had owned his own construction contracting business for two years.

"Arturo came to our construction program as a junior," said Marc White, Diaz's masonry instructor at Maxwell High School of Technology in Lawrenceville, Ga. "He's a fast learner, competing and winning our local, regional and state masonry competition."

Diaz represented the state of Georgia in the secondary (high school) division of the national masonry contest held in conjunction with the annual SkillsUSA Leadership Conference in Kansas City, Mo.

Diaz is quick to give credit to his instructor. "Mr. White really influenced me because he saw that I was good at [masonry]," Diaz said. "He encouraged me all the time."

An instructor of 25 years, White said, "[Diaz] is weighing his options for his future. Just like his past, his future holds many options."



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