Monday, November 11, 2019

Veteran’s Day Feature: Meet Keith Higgins

After landing a full-time position with SAP as a Data Center Operator in 2018, Keith Higgins knew he was finally on the right track for achieving his career dreams after tackling some of life’s most difficult adversities.

Keith Higgins began his journey by serving in the military after earning his GED when he was just 18 years old. After serving our country for three and a half years, Keith’s path took a bit of a turn. Keith was incarcerated for several years, but during this time he was able to reflect on what he had already accomplished in his life and what else he still had left to do.

Keith knew he wanted to go back to school to get a fresh start. The military had taught him discipline for balance, so he knew transitioning back to college would not be as difficult as it may be for some. Also, Keith knew he had quite a challenge to overcome in order to make it where he wanted to in his career:

“I always wanted to finish school and I knew the label on my back would require me to gain some additional skills before entering the workforce, so I decided to go back to college,” explained Keith. “What I lost by being incarnated, I wanted to now gain back. I wanted to increase my knowledge and prove myself now that I was back in society.”

After doing some research in the Philadelphia area where he had some family, Keith discovered Peirce College and that is where his new educational journey began.

After thinking back on experiences where he encountered individuals who didn’t know how to operate or fix a computer, Keith discovered he wanted to be one of the individuals who did know how to do it all. So, Keith declared he would enroll in Peirce’s associate program for Information Technology to allow his new interest and career path to flourish.

Once Keith started taking classes at Peirce, his love for the subject matter only grew, which led him wanting more. Luckily, Peirce College offered work study options where students can work on campus in certain departments part-time as they complete their degree. Keith made his way to Peirce’s Information Technology department and soon found mentors and friendship he had never experienced before.

Due to his growing technical and classroom knowledge, Keith knew he was ready to branch out and try something bigger. Keith felt Peirce was preparing him every day for the next step in his career:

“My classes and work study definitely not only prepared me for, but landed me the full-time position with SAP. Peirce College put me in contact with professors and real world workers in the IT department that I needed,” said Keith.

After working full-time with SAP for a while, Keith was ready to explore even more options to expand his portfolio. He landed an internship with Dell Technologies as a Software Solutions Consultant in which he could apply his previous work experience and classroom knowledge.

In addition to advancing his skills in the field and taking classes at Peirce, through the Dell internship, Keith has earned three new certifications. Keith is doing everything he can to continue bettering himself for the future.

Keith said he owes a lot to Peirce and the IT department who got his new future started. “The environment at Peirce has always stood out to me. It is more than just a college; it is a place where you can really grow and learn.”

Now, as Keith has found his niche back in society, he has advice for all those looking for their fresh start. He said, “Time is going to pass you by no matter what. Why not spend those four years bettering yourself for your future? If you have the desire or the inner spark to go back to college, just do it. You can’t lose because no matter how long it takes, every class you accomplish you have gained new knowledge and skills you can take away with you. Reevaluate and realign your priorities and everything else will fall into place.”

Beyond just offering this advice to the community, Keith knew he could do more for others. So, in an effort to give back to the youth who are currently in a tough situation with no guidance, Keith will now also be participating in residential counseling in New Jersey through an at-risk youth program to help those in need find the right direction for their future.

Today, and every day, we applaud veteran’s like Keith Higgins who not only gave their time and energy to serve our country, but are now giving back to the community with their treasures and talents in a different way. Congratulations to Keith on all of his accomplishments. We look forward to seeing where he grows from here!