Having a friend help you out when you need it is good. Having a friend who can help you turn your life around by helping you nd a rewarding career is invaluable. Tulsa Welding School Graduate (TWS) Marianela Reyes, a single mother of two young children, credits her friend, Tiffany (also a TWS graduate) for suggesting she consider welding as a career option and getting her train- ing at TWS. Tiffany even brought Marianela to the Tulsa campus for a tour and to meet with an Admissions Representative. A week later Marianela signed up for the Professional Welder program.

Marianela took to welding right away. “I discovered that I could do something I never thought I could do — weld.” The students were competitive, and at times, Marianela felt a little heat being the only woman in any of the class sessions. She excelled so well in her classes that she was awarded Tulsas Top One designation which goes to the best student in each phase. She had so many Top Ones that she won a welding machine from TWS at the end of her training.

Marianela says the teachers gave her so much encouragement during her time at TWS, she never worried about getting a job. Marianela found a job right after graduation and enjoys the financial stability it brings after years of dead-end jobs. “I’m able to buy things without having to ask someone for money or borrowing money from anywhere.”

Someday, she wants to move on to a bigger job like Welding Inspector. Marianela believes choosing weld- ing as a career was worth it, and she encourages others to choose welding and TWS for training. For those people, she has some advice. “Ask the teachers a lot of questions because that’s what they’re there for. And don’t give up because you think it’s too hard; it’s really not.”