When Travis Childs graduated from Allen University in 2008 with his Bachelor of Science in chemistry degree in hand, he was hit with the stark reality that his dream of working as a chemist would be delayed. It was difficult for the Spartanburg, S.C. native to find employment that would allow him to use his chemistry degree because, as Childs recalled, Columbia had limited chemical companies at the time.
Childs had a six-year old daughter, Zaria, and it was important to him to remain in South Carolina rather than relocate. Instead, he accepted a position as a security guard. Though disappointed in the lack of opportunities, Childs guarded his dreams. He knew that one day, he would become a chemist, but never thought he would one day walk the halls of the White House and meet the President of the United States.
After several years employed as a security guard, a chance encounter with a colleague awakened Childs to the possibility of realizing his dream. His co-worker explained that the company they were working for, Nephron, had partnered with readySC to train highly qualified applicants who would be prepared for employment with the West Columbia-based pharmaceutical company.
With encouragement from Brittany, his wife, Childs knew it was time for him to pursue his dream. He approached Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy to let her know that he was interested in enrolling into the pharmacy technician program, which was offered a local technical college. She told him to go for it.
He completed the six-month accelerated program in August 2018 and was immediately hired as a pharmacy tech..
“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the program, which helped me to advance my career and to help make a better life for myself and more importantly my family,” said Childs.
Fast forward a few months later, Childs was hit with a surprise. He, along with a colleague, was selected to travel July 25 to Washington, DC, where they would meet with President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka. They were chosen to share the success of their career advancement experience.
“It was awesome, but the experience had more meaning to me than just meeting the president and visiting the White House. I came to Allen and majored in chemistry because I wanted a better life. I wanted to be different from my teammates, said Childs who played football. I wanted to show the kids back in my hometown that if I can make it out, so can you,” he continued.
When looking to the future, Childs is optimistic and rightfully so. He was recently promoted to an analytical chemist, and will begin his new role in August.