Student Spotlight: Top 10 Student Rosa Villarreal Going into Welding

Student Spotlight: Top 10 Student Rosa Villarreal Going into Welding
Posted on 02/22/2013

Student Spotlight: Top 10 Student Rosa Villarreal Going into Welding

Rosa Villarreal Welding Rosa Villarreal is among the Top 10 seniors at Los Fresnos High School, but her future plans are not what most people are expecting.


Her future includes her passion: welding.


"I adore welding," Rosa said. "Being able to make something with your hands, and seeing progress. Sometimes in schoolwork, people get distracted and it's harder to see how it's going to help you later. But with welding, it's really you, and it's tactile."


Rosa applied to only one place for her postsecondary education – Tulsa Welding School in Tulsa, Okla. And that is where she is going. Period. 


"When I tell my friends, they are usually a little surprised," Rosa said. "They expected me to try to go to a traditional college. But I really enjoy welding."


Welding instructor Edwin Rivera has been her mentor. "Mr. Rivera inspired me. I have taken four classes with him and I have found something I love to do."


Tulsa Welding School is a seven-month program. Students are in welding classes for five hours a day for seven months. There is no academic program.


"I have had several girls come through the program here, but Rosa will be the first girl to go to Tulsa Welding School. We have a completion rate of about 90 percent of the students who have gone there."


Rivera said that there many opportunities for welders around the country and the world. "One of my graduates had a job opportunity in Africa after only seven months there."


Rivera admits that he was surprised about Rosa, who could have picked a prestigious college to attend as a Top 10 student.


"It was quite a shock to me." Rivera said. "It's not common for that to happen. I've had other Top 10 students, but they have gone on for an academic program in college.


Rosa has received eight welding certifications at LFHS, Rivera said. She keeps telling me, "I love to weld, I love what I do."


Rosa's parents were also a little surprised at her decision "because it's unconventional. "They were a little disappointed, but they understand that it's what I want to do."

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