October 1, 2013 -- Only a year after graduating from IDEA PCS, Tyrone Crossland has proven his ability to pursue a practical career and his passion for fashion by becoming an apprentice electrician and launching his own line of clothing—Royale Lifestyle. Crossland has also been accepted at Clark Atlanta University for admission in Fall 2014.
Both of Crossland’s career paths were born during his four years at IDEA.
As a sophomore, Crossland took electrical housewiring as an elective. Through that course, he was connected with Truland Systems, where he interned each summer. Truland was so impressed with Crossland’s ability and dedication that the company offered him a job immediately upon graduation. He has joined the electrical union as an apprentice, which means he works on job sites with experienced electricians and spends one day a week in the classroom learning advanced electrical skills. He is currently in his first year of the five-year apprenticeship, but has already earned certifications and licenses that allow him to work 40 hours per week. Truland pays for Crossland’s tools, books, and professional classes.
“This is a great field for anyone who’s hands-on,” Crossland said. He enjoys visualizing where wires and cables will go, as well as the challenge of using math skills he learned in high school, including algebra and geometry, to make calculations. “Everything you do here includes math,” he said. “I wasn’t the best at it in high school but I had to become proficient to do this job well.” Crossland had to pass reading and math tests in order to become an apprentice. He appreciates the growth opportunities in the electrical union, where the next step after apprentice is journeyman, which pays $40 per hour. The master electrician level earns even more.
As a freshman, Crossland studied graphic design, which sparked his interest in designing his own clothes. “I love shoes,” he explained. “Any Nike or Jordan shoes. I couldn’t find a shirt I wanted to go with them. So I started buying blank shirts and putting my own designs on them to go with the shoes. My friends starting asking where to buy them, so I decided to start selling them.” Crossland has taught himself how to be an entrepreneur, working with manufacturers, learning about copyright, and becoming social media savvy to market his shirts. His designs have appeared in magazines and have been worn by musicians and singers during their shows.IDEA is proud of alumnus Tyrone Crossland and his ambitious endeavors.
Class of 2007 Valedictorian Charles Flowers Certifies Sgt. Bee for Duty
IDEA JROTC instructor Sgt. Bee recently traveled to Fort Knox, Kentucky Cadet Command School for recertification. He was assigned a soldier from US Army Military Intelligence to conduct his background investigation for clearance. It was the soldier’s first day on the job at Fort Knox after reporting for duty from Hawaii. Sgt. Bee quickly realized that the soldier was Specialist Charles Flowers, valedictorian of the IDEA class of 2007 and former executive officer of IDEA’s JROTC unit. Spec. Flowers was nominated for the Cadet Command Hall of Fame, earned his degree in engineering from the University of Massachusetts, and plans to attend Officer Candidate School. “Flowers is a wonderful example of how to be prepared for post-secondary opportunities and becoming a productive citizen who contributes to his community,” said IDEA JROTC instructor Maj. Terrence Lewis.