Skip to main content

Angel Rodriguez

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Angel Rodriguez, Metro Technology Centers graduate, recently received the Outstanding Non-Traditional Graduate award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council.

Rodriguez was one of 17 Oklahomans honored, along with three businesses and organizations, at the 29th annual Making It Work Day at the Capitol on March 6.

Making It Work Day recognizes individuals who are committed to removing barriers to success for single-parent families by providing educational experiences for students beyond the classroom. The ceremony, which was held in the rotunda at the Oklahoma Capitol, also recognized nontraditional students.

Rodriguez studied aviation maintenance at Metro Tech, beginning her educational training through the BEST program in August 2019, said Alli Canfield, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator in the BEST program, who nominated her for the award.

Rodriguez is a single mother of five children and wanted to get the education she needed to provide a comfortable life for her children, Canfield said.

Because her program of study is linked with the Federal Aviation Administration, she faced delays in courses during the pandemic and spent more than two years with the BEST program while waiting for the aviation maintenance program to be fully reopened.

“All through this time, Angel had a positive attitude and never had excuses. Angel even had her fifth child during her time with BEST,” Canfield said. “New motherhood, the middle of a pandemic and all of life’s other responsibilities did not stop Angel from completing her certification.”

Before she finished her testing, Rodriguez had been offered employment through Tinker Air Force Base, Canfield said.

OkCTEEC is affiliated with the administrative division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. The council advocates for students pursuing nontraditional careers and for resources for educating single parents.

“OkCTEEC is very excited this year to be able to host the Making It Work Day event once again at the Oklahoma state Capitol” said KayTee Niquette, Work Prep and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. “It is the perfect venue to showcase the achievements of our students at both the CareerTech and community college level, as well as those community and business partners that have assisted our students in their educational and employment pursuits. The opportunity for legislators to be able to hear our students’ stories and see the difference our programs make is just priceless.”

She serves as an adviser for OkCTEEC, along with Lisa French of the Department of Human Services and Gina McPherson of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

“OkCTEEC is delighted to host Making It Work Day for another year. We honor our remarkable awardees at the state Capitol for their tireless efforts, commitment and resilience. Our programs, students, graduates, instructors and business and community partners around Oklahoma strive to create a positive change in the lives of families in the state. We take immense pride in recognizing and celebrating their contributions,” said Kelly Vinson, OkCTEEC president and director of Project Achieve at Northern Oklahoma College.

OkCTEEC’s purposes include promoting and supporting career and technology education, increasing its effectiveness, promoting research in the field and in educational equity, developing leadership and advocating for equity and diversity.

For more information about OkCTEEC, visit For more information about the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, visit

Last Modified on Mar 09, 2023
Back to Top