Hometown: Kuna, Idaho
Major: Heavy Equipment Technician
“CWI played a massive role in empowering me to go after my dreams,” said 2016 alumnus, Steve Silva. “I went from a farm kid who didn’t have a lot of confidence to feeling like I could do anything I set my mind to.”
In his early 30s, working on his parent’s cattle ranch in the small town of Sand Hollow, Idaho, Steve felt education was the one thing lacking in his life. Having been out of school for a number of years, he felt a community college would be a good fit.
“I wanted to get an education without having to worry about fitting in or trying to be something I wasn’t. CWI allowed me to figure out what I wanted to do one step at a time.”
Johnny Rowing’s Communication 101 class became a pivotal moment in Steve’s academic career.
“I have a working theory that often the best public speakers are people who treat others with deep respect,” said Rowing. “Steve was a person who showed immense compassion and interest in his peers. This, coupled with his dynamic charisma, made me think he could be a very special public speaker.”
Rowing’s invitation to participate in a Rookie Speech and Debate Tournament on campus challenged Steve to go outside of his comfort zone. He went on to represent CWI at SkillsUSA competitions winning a gold medal in public speaking at the National Skills and Leadership Conference.
“Johnny is the best instructor I have ever had and will ever have. He singled me out helping me to gain confidence and belief in myself. When people go out of their way to believe in you, you want to prove them right. Leaving CWI, I had a lot of steam and a lot of fuel ready for the next chapter.”
Upon completion of his associate degree at CWI, Steve transferred to Boise State University where he was a member of their nationally recognized Speech and Debate team, the Talkin’ Broncos. In 2017, he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Communications. He then accepted a full-ride scholarship into the Master of Business Administration program graduating summa cum laude in 2019.
“When I think of myself, and I think of a master’s degree, it’s almost like it doesn’t make sense. I never would have imagined I would have a master’s degree.”
Currently pursuing a career in Public Administration, Steve has fond memories of his days as an undergraduate student.
“Looking back at my experience at CWI, what I loved most about it was the students – we were all in the same boat, pursuing our dreams, all working together toward a common goal, supporting and believing in each other along the way. Because of CWI, I learned what it means to take goals and turn them into reality.”
Start empowering your future – visit cwi.edu/BeMighty!