In walks Alondra Flores, a petite, beautiful, exuberant young lady, to talk about her experiences at Vocademy. Alondra says she signed up for Learn 4 Life for her high school. Learn 4 Life is a network of public charter schools that offers students a personalized high school course path. They connect students with their partnered resource centers and Vocademy is one of their resources. Alondra signed up for classes at Vocademy to satisfy some of her elective credits needed. She chose welding because her friends were taking it.
When asked why she likes welding, Alondra says, “I like being handy. I like working with tools and big machines.” She says she’d like to eventually be a certified welder. Her friends are already asking her to fix their gates and things. She told us that in class, she made a metal box, a BBQ grill, a cube made out of square tubing, a ladder, and a go kart.
Who would she recommend to take the welding class at Vocademy? “Everyone!” says Alondra. She was the only girl in welding. What advice would she give other women who are considering taking it? “Go for it! Don’t limit yourself.” Alondra says it makes her feel powerful and like she’s crossing boundaries in a field dominated by men.
She likes how welding has given her something in common to hold a conversation with “uncles and old men” in her family. She has worked for her family’s maintenance business but she feels that welding is her calling. When she goes to places that do welding, she likes to check things out there. Often they say things to her like, “Are you lost?” and “Oh, YOU took welding?” She likes surprising people. Alondra is bilingual. She speaks Spanish and English so she will be a valuable resource for any welding company. Vocademy is proud of her and is looking forward to seeing how her future unfolds as it is a promising one.
We offer several different Skills Pathways and they are all available to anyone in our community, our school partners, and to employers. Please contact us for more info: 951-266-6630.