Carpentry student Kyra (Thompson) Johnson, who hopes to combine her love of art and building into a carpentry career, has been named an Outstanding Student by the National Association of Home Builders Student Chapters.
Johnson is enrolled in the Carpentry AAS program on the Moorhead campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College and will graduate in May. She was nominated for the award by her instructor, David Kraemer.
Johnson graduated from high school in Redwood Falls in 2006 and worked for several years as a certified nursing assistant/certified medical assistant. Inspired by her love of the arts, she enrolled in M State’s fine arts degree program, then was drawn to the “challenging, purposeful” work in the field of carpentry.
In addition to her coursework in the Carpentry program, Johnson works for a painting and concrete effects company in Fargo-Moorhead and hopes to continue there after graduation this spring.
“Ideally, after gaining and mastering those skills, I’d like to apply them to a business of my own,” she said. “I have a strong interest in custom-made, unique and multipurpose furniture. In a way, it is my dream to blend my art and carpentry skills together.”
The Outstanding Student Awards were announced at the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas in January. Student selections are based on grade point average, involvement in the local NAHB student chapter and local home builders association, and interest in pursuing a residential building career.
“This has been a scary and challenging experience for me, and I am absolutely loving it,” said Johnson, who currently is working with fellow M State carpentry students on the home they are building in Dilworth. “I am thankful that, while I may not be the strongest guy on the job, people can recognize the amount of care and effort I put into this. All of the support helps me stand that much taller in this new and exciting industry.”