The Next Generation: A love for working with her hands leads to welding
Raven Douds, a junior at Darlington High School didn’t sign up for Welding because she always dreamed of being a welder. In fact, she didn’t know what she wanted to do. Like many other students, she went on a tour of the Darlington County Institute of Technology to see what classes may interest her.
A brief explanation of how the building is designed will help you understand how Raven felt about her tour. On the blue hall, you will find business and information technology classes. On the red hall, students take health science, marketing, engineering, and agriculture mechanics. Though Raven didn’t find one class to settle on right away, this trip was beneficial in ruling out most of the classes on the red and blue hall. She knew that she didn’t want any part of Health Science or Business.
The hard part of choosing a class was that when she went down the green hall, she loved everything. Though she didn’t know what one class she wanted to choose, she knew that she enjoyed building things with her hands and creating things that could be used in everyday life. While listening to the DCIT ambassador talk about welding, she realized that welding is used in buildings, bridges, tables, chairs, airplanes, automobiles, … nearly everything.
Some of Raven’s favorite projects this year have been fabricating a rose and using kitchen utensils to create a work of art. According to her instructor, Mr. Jesse Flowers, “Raven gives her all on every assignment whether she is just running a bead or creating a gift for a loved one.” Raven said she had no idea when she signed up for this class how much she would love it. Her mom said “I am so proud of her. The rose she made was so beautiful. She is learning so much. I know she is going to be able to use what she is learning to have a successful career after she graduates.”
Raven has already met with her guidance counselor about her schedule for her senior year. In addition to taking Welding II so she can become a Welding completer, Raven plans to take Machine Tool. Raven says, “I have really enjoyed my experience at DCIT so far in and out of the class and I can’t wait to come back next year and be able to be here for most of the day.”
When you ask anyone about Raven, they will say that she is an excellent student and serves as a positive role model through her determination and attitude. Though she has only been a student at DCIT for a few months, she has been given the opportunity to represent the Welding department as an ambassador at the Magnet Fair and during presentations at Hartsville High School. After high school, Raven plans to attend Florence-Darlington Technical College to gain her certification in both Welding and Machine Tool. She plans to work at Nucor after college. One thing is sure, whatever she sets her mind to do, she will accomplish.