Atley Pilat of Shiner was named one of Victoria College’s 2020 “What’s Your Story?” scholarship winners.
Atley Pilat remembers always wanting to dress as a fireman every Halloween. The Shiner native hopes to be wearing real firefighter gear soon.
Pilat, 18, completed Victoria College’s CPR Basic Life Support class last fall during his senior year at St. Paul High School. He is now enrolled in VC’s Emergency Medical Technician class with the goal of gaining EMT certification and applying for the City of Victoria Fire Academy.
“I like challenges,” said Pilat, who was recently named a winner of Victoria College’s “What’s Your Story?” $1,000 scholarship contest after submitting an essay explaining his goal to become a firefighter. “I’ve wanted to be a firefighter for as long as I can remember.”
Pilat, who played on two St. Paul state champion football teams, has worked in home construction since 2016 and said the experience has helped him develop a good work ethic.
“Building homes from the ground up as well as simple remodeling jobs has shown me the value of hard work and what it takes to see a project from start to finish,” Pilat wrote in his essay.
Pilat said the CPR class he took at VC increased his desire to be a firefighter.
“I was the youngest one in the class,” Pilat said. “I wanted to take the class because someone’s life could be in your hands, and it could be on you to save them.”
Pilat was surprised to be named one of the four “What’s Your Story?” winners.
“I applied for every scholarship that I could,” Pilat said. “I wanted to try to take some of the load off my parents to pay for my education.”
Pilat said his enrollment in Victoria College’s EMT course has confirmed his decision to become a firefighter.
“The class is really helping me build my confidence and is making me look forward to my career more and more,” Pilat said. “I’m not even halfway through the EMT course, and I can say already that I have learned so many skills.”