Trades led to depth of riches for Vancouver student

Skylar Albrecht was about to be kicked out of Tupper secondary when teacher Russ Evans took Albrecht under his wing.

“He was going to get booted with 10 feet on his butt,” Evans said. “He is smart. Generally, he was faster than his teachers and wasn’t actually too afraid of telling them that.”

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Evans obtained permission to pull Albrecht out of regular classes. Instead of instructing Albrecht how to calculate the volume of a cylinder on a chalk board, Evans handed his student a lawn mower engine to help him figure out the same equations.

The switch from textbooks and talking heads to working with his hands set Albrecht on a successful path to graduating high school and becoming a commercial saturation diver. He’s plunged to depths as great as 185 metres below sea level, worked in Korea, Norway and Australia, generally labours less than six months a year, and last year, earned $200,000 while still only 27.

Albrecht was one of six former Vancouver School Board students who told 300 Grade 10 students from 10 schools about their successes in various trades at the third Journey Into the Trades event at Vancouver Technical secondary Friday morning.

Read the full story online on Monday and in print on Wednesday, Jan. 21.

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