Call of Duty: Homestead High School Senior Earns EMT Diploma at MATC

Graduate gets head start on his career in college’s Dual Enrollment Academy

Mark Feldmann,

May 23, 2024

Ayden Wucherer

I feel like I 100% made the right choice. I felt I was studying things that would have a real effect on what I wanted to do. I felt that it all mattered.

Ayden Wucherer MATC EMT graduate, dual enrollment student

Commitment of service runs deep in Ayden Wucherer’s family.

His father was a firefighter for nearly two decades. Another relative protected and served as a police officer. Still another enlisted in the military.

As a junior at Homestead High School in Mequon, Wucherer didn’t want to wait to do this part.

He enrolled in Milwaukee Area Technical College’s Emergency Medical Technician program and spent nearly his entire senior year taking classes at MATC’s Mequon Campus. He received his technical diploma at MATC’s Spring 2024 Commencement on May 19 at Fiserv Forum — nearly three weeks before he gets his high school diploma.

Wucherer is the first Homestead student to participate in MATC’s Dual Enrollment Academy, where students receive college-level training — usually at no cost — to begin careers in high-demand fields. Dual enrollment  students earn high school and college credits while spending the majority of their school day  during the fall and spring semesters at MATC. 

“I would much rather do something that would help me in my career,” Wucherer said. “I feel like I 100% made the right choice. I felt I was studying things that would have a real effect on what I wanted to do. I felt that it all mattered.”

Wucherer spent about an hour at Homestead each day, taking a physical education class and spending time with friends. “I had the option to not have to be at high school at all, but I still wanted to be around and interact with people I knew,” he said.

Wucherer heard about the dual enrollment program through a cousin. He asked his counselor at Homestead, Sarah Robinson, about it, then worked with Megan Poytinger, MATC’s dual enrollment coordinator, to enroll.

“I could tell he was passionate about becoming an EMT and was going to do anything and everything in his power to participate in the Dual Enrollment Academy,” Poytinger said. “Also, Ayden’s family wanted to see their son pursue his dream.”

He started college classes in August. “The campus is about five minutes away from my house, so it was very convenient,” he said. “At first, I thought it would feel a little weird taking college courses, but I discovered that I really liked them.” 

Wucherer reached out and got support from MATC when he needed it. “Those are huge lessons to learn as a first-year college student: being proactive and a self-advocate,” Poytinger said. “Those two skills came naturally to Ayden. He will go on to do great things because he is pursuing something he is truly passionate about.”

Even though he was a high school student, Wucherer fit right in the EMT cohort, said MATC emergency medical services instructor Nathan Heard.

“Ayden is older than his years. He was a dedicated student, not the loudest or the most outspoken, but he was consistent in the course,” Heard said. “He worked well with everyone and he has a quiet confidence that I think will put others at ease.

“He also has a sense of humor that was a spotlight at times,” Heard added. “I appreciate any young man that doesn't try to be anyone he isn't and Ayden was that young man. He was comfortable in his own skin.”

Wucherer plans to become a firefighter in the next several years, and perhaps a paramedic. This summer, he plans to take the national exam required to get a license and has applied to work at Bell Ambulance. He also applied to several fire departments. He wants to start fire science classes at MATC in the fall.

He also hopes more high school students consider dual enrollment programs as a way to get started on a great career.

“A lot of my friends didn’t even know you could do something like this,” Wucherer said. “I know Homestead likes to have students go to four-year colleges, but most of my friends want to do something with their hands, like the trades. Many of them probably will go to MATC for that.”

Learn about MATC’s dual credit programs

About MATC: Wisconsin’s largest technical college and one of the most diverse two-year institutions in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. More than 30,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives in the community. The college offers more than 180 academic programs — many that prepare students for jobs immediately upon completion and others that provide transfer options leading to bachelor’s degrees with more than 40 four-year colleges and universities. Overwhelmingly, MATC graduates build careers and businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.