What do Welding and Honors Have in Common?

Ashley Keepers

Ashley Keepers

Ashley Keepers, Cactus Contributor

My name is Ashley Keepers; I am a student in the welding program. Not only that, but I am also a member of the honors program.

Since my sophomore year in high school, welding has been one of the favorite things life has offered me. My FFA advisor had explained to my class that he desperately needed two or three students to push themselves into welding to form an ag mechanics team. This was where I first decided to weld.

Instantly, I fell in love with the fire and the thought of creating objects using molten metal. My advisor took a special interest in me; he told me he wanted to develop this newly found skill and make me the best welder I could be.

After a semester, my advisor had taught me everything he knew about the trade, but I wanted more. Since my advisor could no longer teach me, he had called the Palo Verde Power Plant and asked for help. After about a week of calling and begging, we finally got Jason. Jason would come in every day after work just to help out the team I was a part of. We would weld for hours after school just to try and become better.

Since then I knew I wanted to weld as a career. That is when I found Central Arizona College’s welding program. It is one of the best in the state, I was told, so I came here to CAC.

Just before my first semester of college had started, I had received an email about the Honors Program. For as long as I could remember, I have taken honors courses. Now, I knew I had a hectic schedule already, but what was one more class? I had 12 credit hours’ worth of welding classes, 3 credits for math, and 3 credits for a programing class. I hadn’t realized that if I were to add in another 3-credit-hour class, what I would be getting into. After I had been accepted into the CAC Honors Program, I had a grand total of 21 credit hours.

I have to admit, it was a terrifying experience taking on so much in such a short period, but I am so glad I did. Taking both welding and Honors has been an amazing experience. I love all of the people I get to work with, and it is such a different experience to go from a rapid pace class to more of a discussion based one.

It has been hard balancing my welding with my Honors project, but I am managing both very well, I think. These two completely different courses have taught me to expand my mind set, that there is more the world has to offer than just the V building, tucked into a corner, where no one really knows you’re there. I am glad I have the opportunity to represent the welders in the Honors Program.