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BRIGHT FUTURES — PNG senior practices process operating trade

Shawn Caviness-Brigman Jr.’s dad drilled into him every day the importance of education, a lesson he said he’s learned well.

Brigman is a senior at Port Neches Groves High School and is on a fast track to starting his career as a process operator.

“I’m in a dual-credit program with the high school and Lamar State College Port Arthur,” Brigman said. “We haven’t gotten too far into the units yet. Right now we are learning safety. Process operating is basically running the units of plants.”

Brigman joined the Career and Technical Education program at Port Neches-Groves this year after discussing future careers with his father.

“I heard last year that (the school) was doing this dual credit college program,” he said. “So, I sat down with my dad and he told me about the process technology program and engineering. I like hands-on work, so I tried it out and it just clicked.”

The Port Arthur native said he hopes to gain as much knowledge and skill from the program as he can before transferring to the Lamar Institute of Technology to finish his degree.

Jim Powell, a process technology professor at Lamar State College Port Arthur, educates Shawn Caviness-Brigman Jr. on how to use the Custom Total Trainer. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

“My goal is to be a process operator and to get a scholarship to LIT,” he said. “I want to finish the two-year program and extend it to four years to get more education because knowledge is power.”

Brigman said his ultimate goal is to work for the Huntsman Corporation, a multinational manufacturer and marketer of chemical products.

“I’m working on staying focused with my education,” he said. “If you don’t have education, you can’t go anywhere nowadays. My dad has always taught me that I need to focus on school and on my goals, so that’s what I’m going to do and keep on pushing.”

Brigman is also a counselor’s aide, a part of the Indian’s Give volunteer program at PNG and works a fulltime job.

PNG High School English III teacher Cristina Roe said she is expecting great things from Brigman, who is an overall excellent student.

Shawn Caviness-Brigman Jr. learns how to use the forklift simulator at Lamar State College Port Arthur. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

“Shawn Caviness-Brigman is the most dedicated and hardworking individual that I have ever had the pleasure of teaching,” she said. “Shawn has always stayed ahead on his assignments, often going the extra mile to succeed. He has such a positive attitude about learning that he inspires those around him to succeed as well.”

Principal Scott Ryan said Brigman is one of the most genuine kids he’s ever been around.

“You can’t help but smile around Shawn, his attitude is contagious.”

To learn more about the PNG Career and Technical Education program, visit pngisd.org.