Khalid James, a senior at St. Croix Career and Technical Education Center, likes the word opportunity. He says he is an opportunistic person. To make that work for him he chooses paths with the best opportunities.
His parents gave him the opportunity to experience private and public school. He went to the Good Shepherd School and St. Patrick’s Catholic School, Woodson Junior High School and CTEC.
He says St. Patrick’s was special because of the small classes and extracurricular activities offered. He is happy he had the opportunity to learn to play the trombone and steel pan there. He said parochial school also offered the opportunity to investigate the values and morals his parents instilled in him.
After attending Woodson Junior High James chose the technical route, thinking of the opportunities offered there to learn various skills.
He has done well, taking advantage of opportunities at CETEC. He is an honor roll student and a member of the National Technical Honor Society, serving as the vice president. He co-founded a Teens on Teens Entrepreneurship Workshop after attending Advanced Minds Pursuing Success Institute Entrepreneurship Camp. The camp taught leadership skills and how to compete in a free market system. He has served as a student representative on the accreditation board.
Ruth Wilson, advisor for NTHS and technical resource teacher at CTEC, says James has wonderful ideas and follows through and completes everything he does. She added he displays great leadership skills.
His school advisor suggested he take architectural drafting when he was a junior. It was an opportunity that he could not say no to. Drawing houses and sketching various objects was something James says he enjoyed doing since he was very young.
He had the opportunity to take architectural drafting under Larry Francis at CTEC where he realized he wanted to become an architect. He says he feels empowered at the computer doing his architectural design work.
Francis had such an influence on James that he decided to apply to Francis’ alma mater, North Carolina Agriculture and Technical University in Greensboro, N. C. James has been accepted there and he has earned two scholarships so far. He wants to get his bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering or in music education.
James says he will definitely come back to live and work on St. Croix and give back to the community.
“These are the people that raised me,” James says.
He sees himself on a path of entrepreneurship and possibly having his own architectural firm. He thinks there is opportunity here for him because of the natural disasters that can happen and the need to build buildings that are architecturally sound.
James considers learning as one of his hobbies, along with playing steel pan and trombone.
He enjoys music and plays in the CTEC concert /jazz band, the Mighty Marching Barracudas, and Superior Court Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra.
“I am driven to be myself and not get caught up in and join the crowd,” James says.
He was born in Tallahassee, Fla., in November 1993, the son of Roberto and Michelle James. He was one-year-old when he moved with his family to St. Croix, his father’s birthplace.
James says his older sister, Takema James, is the rock he stands on.
“She knows my potential and has encouraged me in new opportunities,” James says.