Destrehan graduate rides relentless work ethic to his success

Benjamin Spears

Benjamin Spears simply puts his head down and forges ahead.

To Spears, there’s nothing fancy to it: his work ethic and drive allowed him to finish his obligations at Destrehan High a semester early – though he walked the stage last week for his diploma, he’s completed his first semester at River Parishes Community College (RPCC) in Boutte, where he’s studying process technology.

He’s balanced that effort with working multiple jobs since his sophomore year, and recently he began working as a machinist with Precision Industrial, continuing to learn his trade and build his future.

“My parents, my grandparents, they always taught me school was the number one priority,” Spears said. “At the same time, I wanted things. I wanted a vehicle, and you have to pay for that. So, I turned 16, got a job, and once you start working, you want to keep working after you’re seeing some money for the first time. So, all of that together … I don’t know, I just kind of did it. It seemed like the way to go.”

His interest in process technology came from a desire to follow in the footsteps of his father, Wade, an operator with Shell. Spears’ grandfather was a machinist with Shell as well.

“I just grew up seeing them in the garage, doing work,” Spears said. “My dad worked for Shell and was always there, and I kind of picked up on that. He’s told me anytime I come up on a trouble spot, he can help, because he’s been through it before … I’ve always looked up to him. He grew up not having nearly what I or a lot of people have and worked up to where he was.”

Spears’ focus on his studies has paid off. He’s earned several scholarships to all but cover his school fees, while he earned six dual enrollment credits for RPCC while attending the Satellite Center during his time at Destrehan.

The Satellite Center, he said, was one of the most enjoyable parts of his tenure at DHS.

“It was one of my favorite experiences, because it wasn’t about just a core class, it involved things I wanted to learn because it led to what I want to do (career-wise),” Spears said. “We also got to go on some awesome field trips to different facilities, actually be there … it didn’t just teach us about a career, but the actual how to be what you want to be.”

Spears has also volunteered through his church with Ormond Nursing and Care Center, serving food and visiting with residents.

Outside of the classroom, one of his passions is the outdoors. Spears is an avid fisherman and hunter, and he helped propel the Destrehan fishing team to the state championship tournament in Toledo Bend this year.

“That was a lot of fun,” Spears said. “I’d never been there to fish before and it was different for sure. We had to change up our approach. We caught a few … we didn’t catch the biggest fish, but we caught a few and I really enjoyed it. We got to spend all week up there.”

He recalls his first hunting outing at the young age of four.

“I remember just sitting in the stand with my Paw Paw,” Spears said. “With both fishing and hunting, it’s not just the sport but being out there in the fresh air, not worrying about your phone or the usual stuff. It’s just you and nature.”

Benjamin Spears simply puts his head down and forges ahead.

To Spears, there’s nothing fancy to it: his work ethic and drive allowed him to finish his obligations at Destrehan High a semester early – though he walked the stage last week for his diploma, he’s completed his first semester at River Parishes Community College (RPCC) in Boutte, where he’s studying process technology.

He’s balanced that effort with working multiple jobs since his sophomore year, and recently he began working as a machinist with Precision Industrial, continuing to learn his trade and build his future.

“My parents, my grandparents, they always taught me school was the number one priority,” Spears said. “At the same time, I wanted things. I wanted a vehicle, and you have to pay for that. So, I turned 16, got a job, and once you start working, you want to keep working after you’re seeing some money for the first time. So, all of that together … I don’t know, I just kind of did it. It seemed like the way to go.”

His interest in process technology came from a desire to follow in the footsteps of his father, Wade, an operator with Shell. Spears’ grandfather was a machinist with Shell as well.

“I just grew up seeing them in the garage, doing work,” Spears said. “My dad worked for Shell and was always there, and I kind of picked up on that. He’s told me anytime I come up on a trouble spot, he can help, because he’s been through it before … I’ve always looked up to him. He grew up not having nearly what I or a lot of people have and worked up to where he was.”

Spears’ focus on his studies has paid off. He’s earned several scholarships to all but cover his school fees, while he earned six dual enrollment credits for RPCC while attending the Satellite Center during his time at Destrehan.

The Satellite Center, he said, was one of the most enjoyable parts of his tenure at DHS.

“It was one of my favorite experiences, because it wasn’t about just a core class, it involved things I wanted to learn because it led to what I want to do (career-wise),” Spears said. “We also got to go on some awesome field trips to different facilities, actually be there … it didn’t just teach us about a career, but the actual how to be what you want to be.”

Spears has also volunteered through his church with Ormond Nursing and Care Center, serving food and visiting with residents.

Outside of the classroom, one of his passions is the outdoors. Spears is an avid fisherman and hunter, and he helped propel the Destrehan fishing team to the state championship tournament in Toledo Bend this year.

“That was a lot of fun,” Spears said. “I’d never been there to fish before and it was different for sure. We had to change up our approach. We caught a few … we didn’t catch the biggest fish, but we caught a few and I really enjoyed it. We got to spend all week up there.”

He recalls his first hunting outing at the young age of four.

“I remember just sitting in the stand with my Paw Paw,” Spears said. “With both fishing and hunting, it’s not just the sport but being out there in the fresh air, not worrying about your phone or the usual stuff. It’s just you and nature.”

 

About Ryan Arena 2347 Articles
Sports Editor

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