Kaitlyn Prater, a 2016 graduate of Medina County Career Center’s Power Equipment Technology career-technical major, recently started her career as an automotive technician at BMW, a German multinational company known for its luxury vehicles and motorcycles.

“When I first came to MCCC, I was really shy and didn’t know my place,” said Prater. “My teachers as well as administration really helped me find myself and be successful.”

Prater chose to apply to MCCC after visiting Power Equipment Technology during Sophomore Visitation, an event held every January that allows sophomores in Medina County to spend a school day shadowing two MCCC career-technical majors.

“I had heard so many great things about MCCC before Sophomore Visitation,” said Prater. “Once I saw it first-hand I knew it was where I needed to be.”

Prater started attending MCCC in Fall 2014. Before long, Prater was involved in multiple clubs and SkillsUSA, a career-technical student organization with the mission of empowering its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.

In June 2015, Prater went to the SkillsUSA State Competition for Job Skills Demonstration Open. Prater demonstrated a recoil rope change on a lawnmower to win second in the nation and was awarded a $10,000 scholarship.

“That was the moment that turned everything around,” said Prater. “It was like a freight train. I was not stopping until I got where I wanted in my career.”

In Fall 2016, Prater pursued the Complete Automotive Technology program at Ohio Technical College in Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated valedictorian in March 2018 and was the only female accepted into BMW’s 16-week training program at that time. Prater graduated BMW’s program in September 2018 and began working as an automotive technician at one of BMW’s top performing centers in the eastern region. She has since been promoted.

“I plan to continue to grow my career at BMW,” said Prater. “I owe MCCC everything. I truly would not be where I am today if I hadn’t attended MCCC.”