Vantage Career Center Network Systems senior Levi Miller (Antwerp) took his already bolstering talents and IT skills to the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference and Competition in Anaheim California, specifically competing in the C Sharp (C#) Programming category, for a place on the National podium.
Although Levi did not see the podium at the National level for the C# competition, he did bring home more than what he expected. During his five day experience, Levi elected to spend an entire day in an industry credential certification lab, a portion of the conference where students can elect to try their hand in earning more industry certifications through an industry leader in professional certifications, Certiport. It is through this lab opportunity, Levi advanced his passion for the IT world.
Levi, prior to his National birth, had already earned a solid seven industry credentials through his junior year and part of his senior year, including TestOut PC Pro, IT Fundamentals, Security Pro, Intro to C++ Programing, Network Pro, ODE WebXams Advanced Level, and OSHA. However, during his time at Nationals, he spent one full day at the Certiport, adding seven more credentials to his already long list, including Software Development, Device Configuration and Management, Network Security, Python Programming, Java Programming, and CyberSecurity.
As if that is not impressive enough, Levi went on to complete his senior year earning six more certifications, bringing his total to 19, prior to graduation, which include TestOut Cyber Defense Pro, Server Pro Identity, Server Pro Networking, and Server Pro Install and Storage, CompTIA A+, and CompTIA Network+. In total, Levi’s combined education, experience and certifications accomplished in his two years at Vantage Career Center through the Network Systems program is over a 4-year Information Technology Degree in college.
When asked if he imagined accomplishing this high level of achievement, he laughed and said “No really, but close. I aimed for four certifications my junior year and four certifications my senior year, but this year kind of went crazy. I didn’t realize this year was going to be a certificate buffet.” Levi went on to speak of the inspirations from previous years in the Vantage Network Systems class saying, “The original examples of previous students' accomplishments at Vantage, like Gage Smith (Paulding), Vanessa Krueger (Paulding), and Chris Piske (Lincolnview) inspired me, which is when I set some goals for what I wanted to do.”
One does have to ask the blaring questions, “Why Vantage” and “What Made You Choose Network Systems?” Miller states that he knew he had an aptitude for computer science, which originated from his home school, Antwerp. Miller took HTML at his home school along with computer science and python as an elective during his eighth grade and freshman years. Levi shared that he heard about Vantage through various tours and that his older sister went through the Cosmetology program, so Vantage, specifically the Network Systems program, seemed like a great fit.
During his time at Vantage, Levi also participated in the Career Advanced Placement (early placement) program his senior year, where he built a relationship with and worked for the Paulding County Hospital IT Department in place of his lab time, earning him a wage and a grade simultaneously. Levi officially secured a full time position with Paulding Hospital upon graduation.
When asked, Miller said he enjoyed his time at Vantage, especially Physics. “I think Vantage is just great, and I have gotten several opportunities I would not have gotten otherwise. Vantage paid for all of these experiences. Mr. Regedanz (Network Systems instructor), has done a great job with teaching the program.”
Mr. Larry Regedanz has been the Vantage Network Systems Instructor for over 10 years and has seen many success stories. "I give all my students all the resources they need to be successful,” says Regedanz. “I recognize each student every step of the way by posting their accomplishments on their name cards on their desks and lockers for everyone to see. A lot of students see this as a competition and go way above and beyond what I ever thought any student could accomplish in just 2 years."
Miller is just one fine example of the many Vantage students earning valuable industry certifications and developing employer relationships early in their high school careers to support their career goals, whether they are college or career bound. “We were very fortunate to have Levi choose to come to Vantage and into our Network Systems program. Levi set high standards for himself and was dedicated to achieving his goals over his two years here. We are very proud of all his accomplishments and have no doubt he will continue to do great things.” says Paula Vantilburg, Business and Service Supervisor.
Vantage is proud of Levi’s accomplishments, and looks forward to seeing who he inspires to achieve greater success.