Firefighter, Loudoun County Fire and Rescue
- Woodgrove High School, Monroe Technology Center, Loudoun County Public Schools
- CTE studies: Firefighting I and II; Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) I and I
- Additional studies: Pursuing Associate degree in Fire Science Technology, Northern Virginia Community College
Fueling his passion
by Veronica Garabelli
Tyler Moxley comes from a family of firemen, but it wasn’t until he started volunteering at a local fire station at age 16 that he decided to become a firefighter.
“At first I wanted to be a gym teacher, and then I started doing this, and I got around it more and really enjoyed it,” he says.
Tyler also took firefighter-related classes in high school at the Monroe Technology Center, which helped him obtain certifications in the field, including Firefighter I and II, CPR, and basic EMT. A year after graduating from high school, he was offered a firefighter position at Loudoun County Fire and Rescue, where he says he uses the knowledge and skills he acquired in high school, ranging from EMT skills to throwing ladders appropriately during rescue missions. Before becoming a firefighter, Tyler also had to attend seven months of firefighter recruit school. Even though Tyler is now a firefighter, he still has to keep his certifications up-to-date and stay on top of training.
“They hold us to a pretty high standard,” he says.
Tyler also is pursuing his associate degree in fire science technology at Northern Virginia Community College and would like to one day obtain his paramedic certification (the highest level of the EMT certification). He’d like to continue moving up the ranks as a firefighter and eventually become a battalion chief.
The part he enjoys most about his job is adapting to different situations and environments, which also can be the most challenging aspect.
“The best part is I get to work with a great group of guys, but we also get to go out and help people who are in need at their worst time,” he says.
Attorney, Graham Law Firm, PLLC, Leesburg
- Broad Run High School, Loudon County Public Schools
- CTE studies: Business Law; Accounting; Keyboarding
- Additional studies: Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, College of William & Mary; Juris Doctorate, West Virginia University College of Law
Specializing in family law
by Veronica Garabelli
Jason Knoster is only 27 years old, but he’s already an accomplished lawyer at Graham Law Firm in Leesburg.
“As far as attorneys go, I’m probably younger than most, but as far as perception goes in the community, I am well respected, judges know me by name, clients ask for me by name, and I’ve made a name for myself out here,” Jason says.
Jason specializes in family law, primarily helping clients through divorces.
“I take happiness out of the fact that people come to me in their time of need, and that I can help them find a solution,” says Jason. “So, I perceive myself being in family law for a long time.”
Jason graduated fifth in his class at the West Virginia University College of Law and received the Order of the Coif, an honor only given to the top 10 percent of a graduating law class. For Jason, becoming a lawyer has been a dream since he was a child.
There’s something about law that fascinates me,” he says. “The law is the bond that holds society together, and if you can understand what holds society together, you have a completely different understanding of the world around you,” he says.
At any given time, Jason works with a range of 25 to 45 clients. He loves that his job is always interesting. The biggest challenge is the preparation each case requires.
Jason started planting the seeds for his law career before college. He took Business Law in high school, which gave him a broad introduction to the profession. His high school Accounting course also proved useful, as he often searches through financial documents when working on cases. But Jason’s not done learning yet. He plans to continue developing himself as a lawyer, proving his merit in the profession, and advocating for his clients.
“I have barely put a drop in the bucket as far as my career,” he says. “I see a long career in law ahead of me.”
Police Officer, Roanoke Police Department
- Gretna High School/Pittsylvania Career and Technical Center, Pittsylvania County Public Schools
- CTE studies: Criminal Justice, SkillsUSA
- Additional studies: Roanoke Police Academy Graduate; Career Studies Certificate in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, Central Virginia Community College, Lynchburg
by Veronica Garabelli
Even when she faced opposition from others, Kimberly Jarrell always kept her eye on the prize: becoming a police officer. “If it’s something you want to do – do it – and do it for yourself – that’s a big thing,” advises Kim to anyone who dreams of becoming a police officer.
Kim became interested in the career in high school when she took criminal justice her junior and senior years at Pittsylvania Career and Technical Center. “We studied major case laws that, once I got into the police academy, were identical,” says Kim about one of the major skills she picked up in the class.
Kim says SkillsUSA’s competitions also did a great job of demonstrating what the field entailed. Participants, for example, took part in mock crime scenes and artificial traffic stops. Senior year, however, Kim was not able to participate in SkillsUSA’s state competition because she was pregnant. But she didn’t let that deter her from pursuing her dream. “I knew I needed to do something to better my life and continue doing what I wanted to do,” says Kim.
Three years later, Kim got her wish and started training at the Roanoke Police Academy. It wasn’t smooth sailing from there, however. The six-month training program included learning laws, swim training, and a physical exhaustion test.
Since graduating from the Academy in 2012, Kim’s been patrolling northwest Roanoke. The aspect she enjoys the most about her job is being able to make a difference, while the hardest part is being away from her 6-year-old son, Triston. Kim’s job requires her to work swing shifts where she clocks 60 hours one week and 24 hours the next. Although Kim is now a police officer, she hasn’t stopped dreaming. She hopes to one day become a juvenile detective since often, “the only true victims in a lot of situations are children,” she says.
The Career Clusters logo and its extensions are the property of the National Career Technical Foundation, as managed by NASDCTEc. Some content on this page is from the publication, R U College & Career Ready? - 2017 Edition; and is used here with permission from the Virginia Business Publications LLC and Trailblazers in the Demographics and Workforce Section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.