Tevin Haugen had just moved to Iowa when he began working with IVRS Counselor James Faulkner. Tevin indicated that high school had not been a good experience for him but learning knife-making sparked an interest in welding. Counselor Faulkner said, “I wanted to keep that flame going. My biggest worry was that the flame would go out.”

Muscatine Community College had a welding program but Tevin was concerned that “reading issues” might interfere with college.

Counselor Faulkner partnered with Dave Carson, Adult Education and Jill Holler, Disability Services Coordinator with Muscatine Community College in getting accommodations, planning next steps, and receiving help with adult literacy. Dave Carson worked one on one with Tevin tutoring him in adult literacy. Faulkner, having similar interests as Tevin, located books and materials that made reading interesting and entertaining for him instead of a chore.

Counselor Faulkner said. “With those partnership opportunities at Muscatine Community College, it did work well.”

Tevin completed his coursework to become a welder with a high GPA even while attending during the Covid Pandemic.

“This helped me to get a fresh start after high school, realize my potential, and achieve my goals!" Tevin said.

His welding instructor Chris Kramer provided job leads and helped Tevin prep for welding tests as part of company interviews. Counselor Faulkner also worked with Tevin to find employment opportunities in his area.

He currently has a welding position at the Raymond Corporation in Muscatine. “They have taken good care of him,” Faulkner said.

Tevin’s interest in welding has also led to involvement in many new community activities.

Faulkner said, “This is a young man I run into a lot. He’s very well-rounded. He’s been working on cars and I see him at car shows.”

Tevin also enjoys being involved with Renaissance Fairs and he and his father built a forge to make armor and swords used at those events.

“His passions and skills allow him to make connections in the community,” Faulkner said.

When Tevin first came to Iowa he was timid and afraid to pursue a higher education because of his struggles in high school. But Faulkner was able to see what sparked his interest and begin a journey toward a successful educational experience and career.

“At Voc Rehab we find what the potential can be and Tevin lived up to the possibilities,” Faulkner said. “We kept the flame going.”