This week's CertStudent is 16-year-old Kasey Sanchez, who attends Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne, N.J. An only child, Kasey is taking up the family business, so to speak, by studying computers and IT at PCTI — doing things he's watched his father do for years. "He went to school for the exact same thing I'm doing here," Kasey said. "He's always been great with computers. He took me to work a couple of times when I was younger."
Kasey has his PC Pro cert from TestOut, and he's working on finishing up TestOut's Network Pro, as well as getting the A+ and Network+ certifications offered by CompTIA. When not at school, Kasey stays connected to his future career with his own array of personal tech. "I have a desktop, a laptop and a couple of cell phones," he said. He also fiddles around with family equipment: "I've set up a couple of temp computers at my dad's shop. I've set up network printers."
Like a lot of people who understand computers and technology, Kasey has already become an important resource for family members and friends. "A couple of times I've had to get a couple of things from hard drives that have crashed," he said. "I've had to figure out a few things with Windows. I really enjoy it when I can fix somebody's computer. It's always a really great achievement."
Life after high school is still a couple of years away, and Kasey doesn't know exactly what direction he'll go in after graduation. "I probably want to follow in my cousin's footsteps," he said. "He's working for a company in Texas making $45,000 a year."
Technology might not be Kasey's only option for a highly paid career: He's an accomplished musician, taking part in marching band, jazz band and concert band, and serving as treasurer of the PCTI Music Honor Society. "I play a lot of drums," he said. And not just for school ensembles — Kasey is also a rock and roll drummer and occasionally bashes the skins with friends at nearby venues, including The Meatlocker in Montclair, N.J.
His favorite drummers are Led Zeppelin's John Bonham, and jazz drummer Jojo Mayer. Favorite bands include Miss May I, Young the Giant and Dance Gavin Dance, bands with a hard-driving sound that Kasey likes to emulate with his own playing. "I love to play rock," he said. "Very heavy rock."
Whether he ends up a famous rock and roll drummer, or a crackerjack network administrator, it seems clear that Kasey's already well on his way to becoming a star.