From a very young age, Edwin Maxcy remembers helping his dad with the family’s diesel 2002 Ford Excursion. The experience became a drive to learn more, leading him to an automotive and diesel technology program in Cypress, Texas. The truck became his home.
“I have seen so much more than anyone my age should have ever seen in their first 18 years of life,” Maxcy says. But with his personal vision of the American dream, and a tremendous amount of hard work, the student became a state leader and national competitor in SkillsUSA.
Both of his parents have now passed away. His mother, who suffered from addiction issues, took her own life when he was 11. And then the summer before Maxcy’s senior year at Cypress Springs High School, his father succumbed to heart disease.
“I grew up in a house with lots of family violence, drugs and alcohol,” Maxcy adds. “Cops were always being called out, family members being arrested. Growing up with three older brothers and three sisters was hard.” He wound up going through the child protective services system.
Later, with their father gone, Maxcy’s family dispersed. Older siblings have housing, and the younger ones live with an aunt and uncle.
Maxcy, left on his own, now lives in that Ford Excursion he worked on with his father.
When describing this difficult personal life, Maxcy doesn’t ask for pity. He does his best with the hand he’s been dealt.
“I’m not going to let stuff hold me back,” he explains. “I’m not going to let it hold me down. I’m not going to use it as an excuse to be lazy. I want to strive to be the best. That’s what I do.”
‘I am living the American dream’
His best took him to the SkillsUSA Championships in Louisville, Ky., in June. He competed in Diesel Equipment Technology on a mikeroweWORKS travel scholarship. Now he is back working at the MustangCAT headquarters for Caterpillar Inc. in Houston.
His instructor at Cypress Springs, Jonathan Warren, has been supportive throughout this challenging chapter, helping Maxcy to stay in school despite being homeless. After Warren introduced him to SkillsUSA, the student went to the state competition, graduated and made it to nationals … without parents.
Maxcy says SkillsUSA has been instrumental to his success, and he’s inspired by this line from the SkillsUSA Creed:
I believe in the American way of life.
“I can identify with this [part of the creed] most, because I am living the American dream,” he explains. “I have learned from this great nation what it takes to become successful.”
Maxcy served as a SkillsUSA Texas district officer and was known at Cypress Springs for his ambition as well as his leadership abilities. And then there’s his work ethic. When his father passed away, he texted Warren that his boss wouldn’t let him come in. Yes, despite experiencing such a loss, Maxcy wanted to go to work.
To say that he doesn’t use his challenges as a crutch is an understatement. His drive and dreams keep him motivated and astound those who know him.
“The dream right now is to go to college, graduate and work two years for Caterpillar or whatever dealership that I’ll be with after I get out of college,” Maxcy explains. He hopes to attend the Big Cat Program at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology.
Maxcy wants to become a high-school teacher eventually in Houston, where he can help students join SkillsUSA and become successful, the same way his teachers have helped him.
With so few material possessions, he shows great strength. Maxcy cites three things he can’t live without: “Diesel, God and things to fix.”