BROWNWOOD, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Behind every welding hood at Texas State Technical College in Brownwood is a student with passion, but when the sparks die down, this welder stands out in a room full of men.
“I would go outside a lot and see metal things and I liked how they would connect them together,” said TSTC welding student Patricia Medrano. “Some were proud, some doubted, but I just went on with what I wanted to do.”
Medrano is one of three women breaking barriers in Brownwood as the school sees its largest number of female students in the program.
“They’re starting to realize that they can do anything they want to do,” said TSTC Brownwood Associate Provost Raquel Mata.
For Mata, seeing the record number of female students is more than just a statistic.
“I’ve done a lot of non-traditional things in my life, I played high school football just ’cause I wanted to see the different things in life on the other side I guess you would say,” said Mata.
As more and more women enter theses workspaces, it’s etching away the stigma of what’s considered a “man’s job.”
“We’re no longer pushing women to be the typical female role, like the teachers and the nurses, and those are great careers to have, but, you know, welding is as well,” said Mata.
School officials say 3 of the 22 welding students are women.