Posted on Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Born in the central African nation of Cameroon, Terrence Song’s native language is French. So, he admits understanding English with a Southern American accent can be a challenge. His secret: tilt his head and listen hard.

Immigrating to the U.S. almost three years ago, Song plans to earn his U.S. citizenship. Currently a resident of Northern Virginia, he was no stranger to the electric utility field, having worked as a lineman back home. But graduating the 11-week power line worker training program at SVCC gives him the skills he needs to succeed in the U.S.

At 40 years of age, Song was the oldest member of his class of 36 to graduate the power line worker program at Southside in December.

“There are no bucket trucks in Cameroon,” says Song, noting utility workers in Africa often rely on shovels and muscle to do their work.

“I like it here, I like the countryside,” said Song, and added he’s learned to enjoy all four seasons in Virginia. “Back home there are only two seasons: rainy and dry.”

Read more about Terrence Song’s odyssey from Ombe, Cameroon to Blackstone, Va. here.'

Jim Babb

Jim Babb works for Virginia's Community Colleges in the Office of Strategic Communications.

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