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The Student News Site of West Delaware High School

Inklings

The Student News Site of West Delaware High School

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Jill of All Trades

Junior Sarah Perez is the first female from West Delaware to participate in a welding apprenticeship
Sarah+Perez+%2811%29+is+the+first+female+from+West+Delaware+to+participate+in+a+welding+apprenticeship.+She+is+currently+working+as+a+welder+for+XL+Specialized+Trailers.+
Evan Kartman
Sarah Perez (11) is the first female from West Delaware to participate in a welding apprenticeship. She is currently working as a welder for XL Specialized Trailers.

Trades production is a mostly male-dominated industry, with men making up a vast majority of the workforce. However, this hasn’t stopped junior Sarah Perez from pursuing a welding apprenticeship as the first female from West Delaware to do so.

“She has always been willing to take on any task that has been presented to her,” welding instructor Seth Harms said. “Initially, I was a little nervous with her quiet demeanor, but I am proud to say that I was wrong.”

She began taking trades classes with Harms before beginning her apprenticeship.

“This is my first year as an apprentice and my third year taking a class with Harms”, Perez said. “I took my first welding class because I didn’t get to take my eighth grade Tech Ed class.”

According to Zippia 93.9% of welders are men. Perez is one of three female workers to weld on second shift at XL Specialized Trailers.

“It’s interesting, being one of the only girls out at XL,” Perez said. “Somedays it feels like I have to try harder to advocate for myself.”

Hoping to enter into the WaMaC art contest, Sarah Perez (11) welded this statue depicting a pair of hands. Photo courtesy of Sarah Perez.

Perez juggles many occupational hazards that come with being a welder.

“I got to use a giant oxyacetylene fuel torch,” Perez said. “It’s hot, very hot.”

Perez has also sustained several injuries throughout her work. “When I first started, I would get shooting pains up my arms,” Perez said. “The tips of my fingers also get cut a lot.”

Despite the many tribulations she faces, Perez enjoys her work in welding and is appreciative of her accomplishments.

“I feel like it’s very self empowering to look at the work and the progress you’ve made from when you first started to where you’ve ended up,” Perez said. 

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to experience it.” 

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About the Contributor
Evan Kartman, Staff
Hello! My name Evan Kartman, and I am a senior at the West Delaware High School. I have been involved in cross country, soccer, musical, play, group/individual/Allstate Speech, Concert/Marching Band, Jazz Band, Show-Band, National Honor Society, and journalism! When I’m not focused on my extracurriculars or schoolwork, I enjoy playing guitar, watching movies, going to the gym, gardening, listening to music, and spending time with my family. After high school, I plan to study Business and Journalism/Mass Communications in college.

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