For DSF Scholar Alejandro Camacho, a bright future starts with the light of a welding torch. A 2019 graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School, Alejandro is currently studying welding at Emily Griffith Technical College (Emily Griffith), and looks forward to an exciting career ahead.
Inspired by family
“I knew I did not want to spend my career in an office, just crunching numbers on a computer,” shares Alejandro. “I want something different every day. Welding happens to be one of those careers. It interested me more than any other program. A certificate like this prepares me for what the job is going to be like.”
Reflecting back on his high school experience, Alejandro says he looked to his family for career inspiration. Alejandro saw that his three brothers—a demolition worker, a plumber, and a mover—enjoy hands-on careers, and Alejandro wanted the same for himself. He knew he had the unwavering support of his mother and grandmother to keep him inspired. Looking towards the future, he wondered what options for his career existed, and how he could get there.
An exciting path to a promising career
As a junior at Abraham Lincoln High School, Alejandro took advantage of the CareerConnect program when he visited the workshop at Emily Griffith. The visit gave him a first-hand look at what he experience as a welding student in the future.
With support from his DSF College Advisors in the Future Center at Abraham Lincoln High School, Alejandro began to navigate his path to and through college.
“My DSF College Advisors, Ms. Kepes and Mr. Antezana Alba, helped me find my direction and discover technical jobs,” says Alejandro. “They guided me through the entire financial aid process, and encouraged me to apply for the DSF Scholarship. As an incoming DSF Scholar, Emily Griffith welcomed us with Red Carpet Day.”
Red Carpet Days are a collaboration between DSF and its College Partners. These annual events serve as a welcome for future DSF Scholars while they are still in high school, and help ease the transition to college. At Red Carpet Day for Emily Griffith, Alejandro and other DSF Scholars had a chance to select their class schedules, order their student identification cards, and learn more about DSF’s scholarship requirements.
Finding his future in a booming industry
Alejandro says that the welding program at Emily Griffith has allowed him to deepen his knowledge of welding through individualized instruction.
“In my class, there are 12-14 people and the instructors have time for everybody. If a student needs help, the instructor will do a demo before starting the project.”
Alejandro says he also appreciates that there will always be a need for skilled welders, and recognizes that technical skills are in high demand in our economy.
With graduation on the horizon for Alejandro, he is currently weighing the pros and cons of working in a metal shop versus launching a business to create metal works of art—perhaps he will even find a way to fuse the two careers into one. Wherever he ends up, he knows his future is so bright, he has to wear a welding mask.
The Cielo Foundation supports Alejandro and other DSF Scholars pursuing career and technical education programs
Through our Named Scholarship program, the Cielo Foundation partners with DSF to bring career and technical education programs within reach for DSF Scholars like Alejandro.
Alan Cogen of the Cielo Foundation shares, “the future of employment is in the technical college realm. When a student is able to pursue of these programs, the opportunity grows. DSF creates good opportunities for people to pursue trades and tech as the future of employment.”
Thank you, Cielo Foundation, for your generous support of DSF Scholars who are pursuing career and technical education!