Local graduate makes history through electrical apprenticeship program

Filed under FLGR-PALMCOAST

Power tools and wood are the beautifying agents that make up Tersah Fields.

The quest for her desire was not in dressing, but in earning a college degree as part of an electrical apprenticeship.

Fields had gone the route of social work as her female relatives.

Her mom, Bernadette Reeves, now stays busy as a liturgical dancer, tour guide and dramatist. But the days of wearing suits quickly faded upon Fields’ acceptance in the Mid-Florida Electrical Apprenticeship, a four-year degree program offered by Daytona State College.

Tersah Fields

The other component is her Associates Degree in Applied Science from Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY, which she earned prior to arriving in Florida.

She desires for other women to know that the Electrical Journeyman Apprenticeship Program exists and has existed since 1977 with 16 firms as affiliates.

She feels that if this “tiny, little girl from New York” can apply herself, then other women are capable of doing the same.

Graduated in May
The 39-year-old’s course of study included conduit bending, digging trenches and ditches, installing electrical equipment and devices, and operating construction-related tools. She completed courses in an Introduction to Electricity, Electrical Theory and Electrical Code. Fields maintains commendations of offering good work.

She’s blazed the trail and was conferred with a degree in May at the Ocean Center. She’s the first African-American woman to graduate from the program. The program’s two other female graduates are White and Hispanic.

Fields, a single mom of a 6-year-old son, is blessed having overridden the mile marker of a one-year job layoff during her studies. However, Daytona Beach Commissioner Edith Shelley came to Fields’ rescue and, in fact, attended the cap-and-gown commencement.

Fields believes that Shelley was in the Lord’s plan for her to finish school.

Fields is working – the result of a job offer from Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) in her love for wood. The carpenters at B-CU build all furniture for the dorms – the beds, dressers, tables, shelves, and even the closets.

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