Meet Welding Student Ariel Pelton
Ariel is a student at Washington County Community College (WCCC) majoring in the Welding Technologies Certification program. We caught up with Ariel at the Totally Trades conference in October, 2016. Totally Trades! conferences – where girls explore trades careers through hands-on workshops. She was there to help with the Blacksmith hands-on workshop.
Ariel herself attended a Totally Trades! conference during her sophomore year of high school. She participated in the blacksmith workshop activity where she discovered her love for welding. But when she first discussed her desire to become a welder, as she reports, “No one supported me except my instructor at the Saint Croix Regional Technical Center (SCRTC). He believed in me when no one else did.” So she enrolled in SCRTC – and stayed through her senior year.
Ariel’s current goal is to “get as many certifications as I can and head right into the workforce.” She has a long-term goal of teaching welding at SCRTC. This would complete the circle, allowing her to support other aspiring welders in the same way she was supported by her instructor.
You can do it
When asked what advice she might give to others, Ariel says, “If anyone tells you that you can’t do it because you are a girl, just remember that we can do what they can do, but we look better doing it. Don’t let your gender get in the way of pursuing your dreams.”
Ariel is well on her way to a successful career in welding. She provides an example to other young women that opening your mind to opportunities can put you on an unexpected path. And perhaps that path will lead to a rewarding career.