Ben Bowes, a senior at Napoleon High School, likely will need only two years at the University of Toledo to earn his bachelor’s degree in engineering. Thanks to Ohio’s College Credit Plus program, Ben already completed his first two years of college coursework at Northwest State Community College while still in high school.
Ben actually began his college experience much earlier. As a preschooler, he’d occasionally visit his father’s science lab at nearby Terra State Community College, where the elder Bowes taught engineering.
“This early exposure to science really sparked my interest in building things,” Ben said of his early immersion in Terra’s science lab. From there, his interest has only grown.
When not in high school or college classes, Ben works part time at Napoleon-based Automatic Feed Corporation, a privately owned design manufacturer of coil processing equipment that serves the automotive industry. He met Peter Beck, the company’s vice president, when both were involved with a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) partnership the company built with Napoleon City Schools and Northwest State. The program, now in its second year, operates out of Automatic Feed’s headquarters and focuses on skill-based careers.
“Ben is an eager learner and enthusiastically embraces the practical applications of what he’s learned in college, in high school and, frankly, at home,” Beck said. “Ben has the qualities and characteristics that lead to success; he brings his best to every project, and takes a lot of pride in solving the kind of practical problems that arise in a manufacturing environment.”
Ben has his own thoughts about what has contributed to his early success. “Being trustworthy, doing everything to the best of my ability and hard work are some of the most important characteristics a person can have,” Ben said. “If something has my name on it, I want to make sure it is perfect.”
Ben will take the practical experience he’s had at Automatic Feed with him as he continues classes this fall. He’ll also take two scholarships; the Phi Theta Kappa scholarship and the renewable transfer scholarship will be awarded for both years that he attends the University of Toledo.
For as much as he enjoys learning, Ben said he takes nothing for granted. After graduating with a mechanical engineering degree, Ben plans to attend graduate school to receive a master’s degree in business.
“I want to make an impact on society with the things I build,” he said.