Mike Rowe is giving high school seniors $15k vocational scholarships; first they have to sign the amazing SWEAT pledge

Updated Oct 21, 2013

Mike Rowe Blaze TVWe’ve voiced our fondness for Mike Rowe before. He’s a firm believer that no job is a bad job and that if we want to solve the skilled worker shortage here in the U.S., we need to get younger Americans motivated for careers in the trades.

But somehow we had up to this point missed his awesome Skills and Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo (SWEAT) pledge.

Recently, Mike went on The Blaze TV show “Wilkow!” to discuss his new scholarship program, the mikeroweWORKS Scholarship Fund. As Mike as said in the past, there are “3 million jobs are currently available that either no one can do, or no one seems to want.” Oddly enough, Rowe says the rewards for doing these jobs “have never been better.”

A big reason for that, Rowe says, is that vocational training is looked upon by the American education system as a “consolation prize” for those who can cut it in college.

“It’s crazy to suggest that one size fits all. That’s the problem,” Rowe says in the Blaze interview. “It’s education, but it’s not the kind of education that your guidance counselor typically points to and says ‘Do this.'”

Rowe’s scholarship is meant to train high school seniors for the millions of jobs available in the trades through partnerships with trade and technical schools all across the U.S. The first school the program is partnering with is the Mid-West Technical Institute.

On average, the program is granting $15,000 to these students. But not before they do a few things. As Rowe explained to Blaze TV, students applying for the scholarship must make a video explaining why they deserve the scholarship, along with writing a 500-word essay.

Plus, they must sign the SWEAT pledge. We’ve included it below. We believe it’s not only something great for American teens to read, but for those in the industry as well.

1. I believe that I have won the greatest lottery of all time. I am alive. I walk the Earth. I live in America. Above all things, I am grateful.

2. I believe that I am entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. I also understand that “happiness” and the “pursuit of happiness” are not the same thing.

3. I believe there is no such thing as a “bad job.” I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.

4. I do not “follow my passion.” I bring it with me. I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm.

5. I deplore debt, and do all I can to avoid it. I would rather live in a tent and eat beans than borrow money to pay for a lifestyle I can’t afford.

6. I believe that my safety is my responsibility. I understand that being in “compliance” does not necessarily mean I’m out of danger.

7. I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to show up early, stay late, and cheerfully volunteer for every crappy task there is.

8. I believe the most annoying sounds in the world are whining and complaining. I will never make them. If I am unhappy in my work, I will either find a new job, or find a way to be happy.

9. I believe that my education is my responsibility, and absolutely critical to my success. I am resolved to learn as much as I can from whatever source is available to me. I will never stop learning, and understand that library cards are free.

10. I believe that I am a product of my choices – not my circumstances. I will never blame anyone for my shortcomings or the challenges I face. And I will never accept the credit for something I didn’t do.

11. I understand the world is not fair, and I’m OK with that. I do not resent the success of others.

12. I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my butt off.
On my honor, I hereby affirm the above statements to be an accurate summation of my personal worldview. I promise to live by them.