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Wellness & Success

Dirty Work Really Leads to A Degree

Alfred State student Aaron Aumickstands next to window with har hat and tape measure near Mike Rowe Works logo.

Helping others can mean more than just donations. When you excel in a trade, helping others get the education they need to also excel in the trade is a great way to enhance the community. Mike Rowe, celebrity and a spokesman or sorts for skilled trades, has done just that.

The nation’s best-known promoter of skilled trades is proud of the accomplishments of a recent graduate of Alfred State College. Mike Rowe’s foundation is sharing the multi-generational story of Aaron Aumick, a building trades: building construction graduate from Port Jervis. Rowe, the television host widely recognized for his “Dirty Jobs” and “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” series, leads a scholarship program that enabled Aumick to earn his associate degree.

Through the Work Ethic Scholarship Program awarded to Aumick, Rowe’s foundation provides financial assistance to qualified students with a desire to learn a skill that is in demand. The foundation has granted more than $3 million for use at trade schools across the country. According to the charity, mikeroweWORKS Foundation rewards people with a passion to be trained for skilled jobs that actually exist.

“They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” Rowe’s foundation recently posted on Facebook. “In 21 year-old Aaron Aumick’s case, that couldn’t be more accurate. Both Aaron and his father are volunteer firefighters and carpenters. So are Aaron’s grandfather and great-grandfather, making Aaron a fourth-generation firefighter and carpenter.”

Aumick applied for the scholarship after he discovered that his own personal perspective matched Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. Pledge. The acronym stands for Skill & Work Ethics Aren’t Taboo. Aumick submitted a video application to the foundation and earned the scholarship funds to complete a two-year degree at Alfred State.

“Since I was a kid I always wanted to be a volunteer firefighter,” Aumick said. “I decided I wanted to be a carpenter when I realized how much I enjoyed using my hands and building different things with my father and grandfather. I decided to go to school for this trade because of the employment availabilities.”

Aaron Aumick has now earned his degree at Alfred State, and will go on to become an excellent carpenter. Through Rowe’s foundation, he now has a degree, a set of skills, and an enhanced passion for his line of work. There are ways to fund a degree that won’t break the bank. We are so excited to see what Aaron Aumick does with his future and his SUNY degree!

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Written by Sarah Petrak

Sarah Petrak is a student assistant with the Office of Communications and New Media for SUNY System Administration. She is a studying Public Policy at the University at Albany.

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