DUBLIN — Bladen Community College welding student, Savannah Doyle Schmidt, has been awarded the North Carolina Space Grant Community College Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholarship.
The Community College STEM Scholarship is based on academic merit and potential for successful matriculation into a four-year degree program. It is the goal of the scholarship award to foster community college retention in STEM academic tracks through graduation or transfer to a four-year institution, to promote STEM career awareness and workplace skills while recognizing high academic achievement and promise, and to increase participation of all students, including underrepresented minorities, females, and students with disabilities, in STEM-related careers.
In May, Schmidt will receive both an associate degree of applied science in welding technology and an associate degree of applied science in general occupational technology from BCC.
“I have always had an interest in learning how to weld,” remarked Schmidt. “I always thought if I ever learned, I would just do little things with it here and there. I never knew that once I signed up, I would love it as much as I do.”
In May 2017, Schmidt won second place in Job Skills Presentation at the national SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, Kentucky. She plans to compete again in June.
The national SkillsUSA competition is the world’s largest showcase of skilled trades. More than 15,000 students, teachers, education leaders, and representatives from 600 national corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions participate in the event.
The SkillsUSA experience encourages professional growth and creative expression. While Schmidt does not consider herself to be an artist, she does enjoy working with metal.
“The fusion of metals is very fascinating, and seeing what you are creating through your shield is sometimes unbelievable,” she stated. “I have come to love and enjoy everything about it.”
Schmidt hopes to gain applied work experience for a few years after graduation and is considering becoming a Certified Welding Inspector.
“I’d love to instruct and hopefully get students involved in SkillsUSA. Maybe I will have a fabrication and welding art business on the side,” she said. “I had no clue I would be where I am today and have accomplished so much in this short amount of time. All I did was sign up for a welding class. You never know where God is going to lead you.”
For more information about the BCC welding program, contact Edward Dent at 910-879-5562.
Cathy Kinlaw is the public information and marketing officer for Bladen Community College.