Metal Trades Vocation Helps At Risk Kids

Whether they were fine-tuning their craftsmanship, or sharpening their skills...metal trade students of all levels fired up their welding tools in Tulia to prepare for competition.

Newschannel 10's Marissa Bagg was there. She has more on how this vocational program is steering students down the right path. 

Some students take a metal trades class to start up a hobby or learn a new skill, but for others the course changes their lives. 
"There are kids who get in trouble, and Mr. Wilfong takes them under his wing and explains self-respect," says Stephen Hernandez, a Junior at Tulia High School.
   Out of the 75 students who met in Tulia, several were considered at risk...
   But with the help of dedicated welding professors, new opportunities are taking shape for them.
"It gives them an opportunity to work with other kids and peers instead of being contained they do really well in the program and it gives them a life skill as well," says Will Winborne, a metals trade instructor.
"You go in and you're under pressure you learn how to do things under pressure and you meet lots of new people," says Ricky Matthews, a Senior at Palo Duro High School.
   With 1200 degree heat shooting from their tools, students learn that trust, hard work and respect are important in the workplace. 
"It teaches us to work as a team and not just an individual, everyone is working on the same page and everyone works as a team to get it all done," says Hernandez.
   Each student hopes to qualify for early next year at the district and state level... Both competitions the Tulia high school team has performed well at in the last 25 years.