$12,000 donation buys eight students travel to national competition

On Friday, CCI Systems in Iron Mountain presented a $12,000 donation to the Dickinson-Iron ISD Tech Center to travel for a competition.
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 4:46 PM EDT
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KINGSFORD, Mich. (WLUC) - Eight students will fly to Texas next week for a national computer competition thanks to a large donation.

Students get hands-on work with computer programming at the Dickinson-Iron ISD Tech Center. For their final project, students will design and create a video game in Jonathan Greggs C++ and Creation with Unreal Engine class.

“This class is where I have learned most of the things I know about computers. Such as networking, hardware, even some coding,” said Brady Behnke, a Senior.

All of the students have a passion for computer technology, and many will pursue careers in that field.

On Friday, CCI Systems in Iron Mountain presented a $12,000 donation to the program to travel for a competition.

“The fact that year-after-year this program pushes kids into competition at the national level, I can’t think of another program in our area that can say that,” said Evan Rice, CCI Systems-Guide Star Vice President.

That will allow students like Brent Mayes, who placed first in Michigan at the Business Professionals of America (BPA) competition to compete in Dallas for nationals.

“For most of the competitions, it is a written test. It will also have a 35 questions multiple choice test,” Mayes said.

Mayes is only a sophomore. He and seven other students will fly to Dallas next week to compete against students from 35 other states and Puerto Rico.

“It definitely gives you a huge post in getting an internship. You meet so many different people at these events,” said Blake Wonfor, a Senior.

Rice wants to invest in the next generation of professionals.

“As a technology company, we have a vested interest in the workforce of the future,” Rice said. “For us to come in with a sponsorship to send these students who work so hard to Dallas and get them experiences outside the U.P. to bring back to the U.P. to hopefully work for U.P. companies are something we can’t pass up the opportunity.”

For now, students continue to prepare for nationals and make tedious edits on their intricate games.

Through the DIDSD, many students are able to obtain an associate’s degree for free through the early college program at Bay College. Students from six school districts in Dickinson and Iron Counties, plus Niagara and Florence, can register for the tech-center classes.

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