Young Navajo welder wins award
WINSLOW, Ariz. - Welding is a tough job requiring strength, stamina and the nerve to work with highly caustic materials and intense high temperatures. So, at first glance, perhaps even after a half-dozen glances, it is hard to picture Northland Pioneer College (NPC) student Noewell Yazzie as a welder. Yet this young woman, who successfully completed the 45 core credit hours of the NPC welding program, not only welds, but plans to take her occupation to a higher level.
"I want to make progress in my field, to work my way up and go into welding inspection," she says. To further her goal, Yazzie has returned to NPC to earn her Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. She is now completing the general education component of the degree to add to her welding credits. With just one semester to go to graduate, instead of MIG and TIG and arc welding classes, she is busy with biology and public speaking, college composition and math.
Yazzie, who currently lives in Whitecone on the Navajo Nation, commutes to class in Winslow. Because of the drive time, as well as being a full-time student, she has chosen not to work until after she graduates. But education comes at a cost. Hoping to help defray some of her college expenses, she explains how she went online to the NPC scholarship search engine (www.npc.edu/scholarships), typed in "welding" and found several listings including one for the NPC 2010-2011 Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Scholarship for Non-traditional Students.
Last week she received word that she had been awarded the grant.
"I'm going to use it for lodging and personal expenses," an excited Yazzie stated. And with gas prices going through the roof, it would seem it couldn't have come at a better time.
Funds for the scholarship are derived from a federal grant paid to the college under the Carl Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998. The purpose of this act, according to Ann Hilliard, NPC Perkins grant coordinator, is to develop the academic, vocational and technical skills of both high school and post secondary students who want to pursue vocational careers. Hilliard says the CTE non-traditional scholarship was designed to support a wider range of occupational choices for both men and women.
For more information about training opportunities at NPC, contact the academic advisor at a location near you, "Chat Live" with an adviser using the link on the college's website at www.npc.edu, or call (800) 266-7845 and ask to speak with an advisor.