As a first-generation college student, Brad Remillard has seen his parents struggle to support a family.
Both his parents work hard, with his dad on third shift for 16 years.
That “took a toll on family life,” he says. “My parents got divorced when I was 10, and although it was hard on my sister and me, they were always civil with each other because they still wanted us to be successful.”
They have encouraged their children to go to college to do better. “My dad always says, ‘You gotta have that piece of paper,’ ” Brad recalls.
But after graduating from high school, Brad wasn’t sure what he wanted to do.
“I’ve always been a hands-on kind of person,” he says. “From the time I was 10, I worked in the summers and after school at my uncle’s farm. Working kept me busy, and I learned a lot. But I also knew that I didn’t want to be farming every day for the rest of my life.”
His dad suggested he look into electrical engineering.
“Sure enough, it sounded like something I would like,” Brad says. “I knew I wanted to do something where I’d make a lot of money but still enjoy what I’d be doing. And with electrical engineering I found that. I know many people who went through college and have a lot of debt and they don’t even use their degrees. That’s not going to be me.”
Brad picked Vermont Tech because it “had the degree I wanted along with a 100 percent job placement rating.” It offers a quality education similar to other Vermont schools but for less money.
He also likes Vermont Tech’s small size. And he loves that he can easily go home to Swanton on the weekends.
“In my free time my passion is hunting,” Brad says. “Whenever I get a chance, I’m in the woods or on the water.”