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Apex Student Spotlight: Naheim Goldson

Originally from the Caribbean, Naheim Goldson traded sandy beaches and sparkling turquoise seas for the Bronx’s vibrant, urban cityscape. With his feet on the ground in New York, he earned his GED in 2016 and received something most students only dream of—a scholarship to any college of his choice. But Naheim quickly realized that college wasn’t for him.

“I visited other schools, but they were not a good fit for me,” said Naheim. “Many had a lot of theory. I believe, for some reason, God did not want me to do that. I was very interested in the Electrical & Advanced Electrical program at Apex because it’s hands-on, and it has different levels.”

Unfortunately, at that time, Naheim didn’t have the stability he needed in life, so he put his education on hold.

“I went to work in the trades,” said Naheim. “But I knew there was more to learn than what I was doing. So, four years later, I came back to Apex. I changed my program to construction because of the diversity it offers, and it matches my personal work experience.”

Today, Naheim is a proud trade school graduate from Apex’s Construction & Building Skills program, which he completed in October 2022.

An Opportunity to Enter the Field Quickly

With his prior experience in multiple trades, Naheim chose to enroll in the Construction & Building Skills program to expand what he calls his “book knowledge.” Apex’s construction training program gave him the opportunity to do that while maintaining a balance between work and school.

“I wanted to complete the program in 7 months so I could go to work,” said Naheim. “I had to leave my full-time job to attend Apex, but I managed part-time work on the weekends.”

This program length means students like Naheim can move through their program at a pace that works for them—while fast-tracking their time in school, compared to a two-year community college or four-year university.

A student uses a tape measure and pencil to mark a wooden board in his construction training program

Formally Learning Hand-On Techniques

Apex designs its programs to offer students time in the classroom and in the shop. Students get the opportunity to learn theories from textbooks then put those theories into practice by using tools of the trade in a hands-on environment.

“Regarding the balance between theory and shop, I initially only wanted to do shop,” said Naheim. “But theory will explain a 45-degree cut. In class you get the instructions, and they explain every tool has its own purpose. I liked working my mind, and the next day working my hands.”

With his background in the construction trade from working in the field, Naheim had the opportunity to fine-tune his skills at Apex in a way he couldn’t on the job.

”I was always good at math in school,” said Naheim. “Carpentry is about precision and numbers, and I really liked that the design comes together with numbers. I like neatness. Building a foundation is exciting. I am the lead contractor on my team. I help with cutting and measurement. It feels good to be given that task.”

He feels that his formal training from Apex sets him apart and equipped him with the construction trade skills he was looking for.

“[It’s valuable] coming to school and formally learning the trade… for example, pulling a nail from a board is easier done with a block underneath with the head of the hammer,” said Naheim. “It’s that detail that makes someone a better carpenter.”

Supportive Programs and Staff

One of his main goals entering construction trade school was to become a creator. Naheim believes the world needs builders, and he felt supported by others who wanted to see him achieve his goals.

“My experience at Apex was great,” said Naheim. “Knowledgeable instructors helped me to fall more in love with what I’m doing. It is the person I am inside. People always said I was very hands-on, and I now see the potential I have. The program very much set me up for success.”

Naheim recalled coming to school excited, looking forward to learning something he reviewed on Zoom with his instructor. His favorite instructor, Mr. L., demonstrated what the real job would be like.

“He is very cool,” said Naheim. “He is observant of your work and allows you to make mistakes so you can learn. The first time I learned to weld pipes, I burnt the pipe like ‘jerk chicken,’ but after multiple attempts, I followed Mr. L’s instruction on temperature. I don’t ‘jerk the chicken’ anymore.”

He also felt supported by staff, especially Ms. Gola in Program Support. She helped Naheim access makeup hours to get caught up on missed class work.

“The school was supportive in helping me achieve my goals,” said Naheim.

Builder measures wood beams for a wall installation using skills from his construction trade program

Easy Admissions Process

Enrolling in construction trade school might sound confusing, but Naheim confirms the process is a breeze.

“The admission process was very easy,” said Naheim. “Everyone was helpful in gathering my paperwork and everything else throughout the process. My most memorable person was Ms. Geeta. When I called the school, I was linked to her every time by chance. She was supportive and made you feel noticed. She’d tell me, ‘Come, let us get this done!’ She was very motivational.”

‘Labor for Learning’ Is Worth It

Even though some might think changing careers or going back to school is too challenging, Naheim insists that this labor of love is worth it.

“I now see young people, and I tell them to go back to school,” said Naheim. “My grandparents used to tell me to go back to school. They repeated this quote to me often: ‘Labor for learning before you grow old; silver and gold will vanish away, but a good education will never decay’.”

He believes Apex was a positive experience that he’ll take with him wherever he goes next.

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.