Inspiring students followed their dreams and found success

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By Erin Eagan

Technical college students vary in age, ethnicity and sociocultural background. One thing they all have in common, however, is a desire to better their lives through a rewarding career.

It doesn’t matter how they got there or how long it took. A military veteran who has returned from active duty may have taken a vastly different path than a single parent working several jobs to make ends meet. An 18-year-old who just graduated high school doesn’t have the same experience as a 60-year-old who has spent the last 30 years in the retail industry and is now seeking a career change. But they all walk around the same campus to follow their dreams.

The following five graduates of Wisconsin’s technical colleges serve as living proof of what higher education and training can do. Maybe their stories will inspire you, or someone you know, to do the same.

Brandon Boe, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, MPTC
Boe has been sober for over a decade, and now he’s making it his life’s work to help others on their path to recovery. He works as an addiction counselor for Agnesian HealthCare in Fond du Lac and is also involved in other aspects of the recovery community.

Cherise Caradine, Criminal Justice, Madison College
After initially getting her associate degree in Marketing, it was a tragic event that made her want to change her career path to Law Enforcement. She is now a Sergeant K9 Handler for the University of Wisconsin Police Department.

Amber Popplewell, Human Services, WITC
In 2010, Popplewell was a single mother living in northwest Wisconsin with aspirations of furthering her education and starting a career where she could help people. During her time at WITC, the students and staff became an extended family who supported her in her pursuit of a career as a Sexual Assault Program Coordinator.

Wes Krimmer, Culinary Management, WCTC
Krimmer’s lifelong dream of owning a restaurant came to fruition when he opened Krimmer’s Restaurant in West Bend. But it took hard work and determination. During his two years at WCTC, he put in 16-17 hour days between school and work to achieve his goal.

Amanda Moeller, Advanced EMT and Firefighter Technician, BTC and GTC
Driven by grief after losing a friend in a motorcycle accident, Moeller decided to pursue a career in Emergency Services and Public Safety. She is now a full-time dispatcher with the Lake Geneva PD and part-time volunteer firefighter.

There are thousands of stories just like these from tech college graduates. Do you know someone who followed their passion and is now enjoying a successful career? If so, send an email to We would love to hear about it!