Giving back by welding for others

FFA instills the value of giving back and service to others. A few students put their welding skills to work for the benefit of heroes in their small Texas community.

The sparks are often flying at Samuel V. Champion High School in Boerne Texas. These students are part of Doorman Vick’s welding class.

“When I’m in a math class, I can solve a math problem and that’s it, it’s just on paper, it’s not a physical 3D object that I can see and that everyone else can see. I really like that,” student Alec Villanueva states.

“Something I definitely learned from the program is a lot more than what I learn in the classroom up there,” student Ryan Myers explains. “Out here I’m actually using my hands learning.”

According to Vick, “For my students who graduate out of here, they know first hand how important ag is to the world around us. From our manufacturing to our trades to those that are going to go directly into ag pathways, understanding the world around us and how important ag fits into it is just so vital... I feel blessed that our kids understand that. Whether they’re coming from the more hunting, recreational side of ag to the production side of ag... I feel like we produce a very well-rounded student when the leave here.”

“No textbook can teach somebody that giving is better than receiving, and so we vote every year at the beginning of the year if we’re going to do show contests or give back...” Vick adds. “This year it was a unanimous vote that the kids wanted to give back.”

From building a fire pit for the retiring Fire Chief to creating a wounded war veteran a mobile hunting blind, these students are not just learning a trade. They are learning what it means to transform lives. Through the partnership of Lt. General Leroy Sisco and the Military Warriors Support Foundation, specialist Michael Crawford gets to go hunting again.

“We went into action, got donations. General Cisco’s foundation stepped in and that was really the transition of our program, going from competing in contests to changing people’s lives,” Vick explains.

“I learned that you have to honor the people that need to be honored and look after the people that are watching out for you,” student Cody Ascosta states. “He served, you didn’t see him serve, but he served.”

“To see them shine in here and become superstars and be able to build anything they put their mind to and go become valid, tax paying citizens out there, that’s the cool stuff,” Vick states. “That’s what it’s about.”

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