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The Socorro Independent School District selects an outstanding student to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the monthly Board of Trustees regular meeting. Students chosen for this honor seize the endless opportunities SISD provides to help them excel in the classroom and beyond. Here is how one student is seizing his opportunities in Team SISD.
Americas High School's welding program flamed Daniel Alexander Silvadoray's passion for fusing metal to create meaningful yet functional items, including new fencing for the elderly in the Downtown El Paso Chihuahuita neighborhood.
"I took this welding class as an elective and ended up falling in love with the trade, so it became my endorsement," said Daniel, a senior at Americas. "Seeing the metals shape into one, it's almost like stitching but with fire."
Since his first year as a Trailblazer, Daniel has honed his craft in the school's workshop garnering 15 industry-recognized welding certifications. They include 4G SMAW (shielded metal arc welding) and 3G GMAW (gas metal arc welding) certifications. In December, he became the first Socorro Independent School District student to earn a 1G pipe welding certification.
“It was my first try,” Daniel recalled. “I was very nervous. It’s so different to (weld) pipe because you can burn through so easily. That was my biggest concern."
Welding is one of 45 programs offered through the SISD Career and Technical Education program that prepares students for industry jobs by the time they graduate.
Seizing opportunities to learn a trade and earn career-specific certifications successfully have allowed Daniel to get a jumpstart on his future.
In recognition of his outstanding achievements, Daniel was selected to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the SISD Board of Trustees regular meeting in March.
“He takes a lot of pride in his work,” said Americas High School welding instructor Veronica Garcia. “He’s very tough on himself. His welds are wonderful, but he just always strives to be better.”
Students learn how to weld through classroom study and hands-on experience. They develop their skills working on various projects throughout the school year. Welding an exhaust pipe onto a truck allowed Daniel and his classmates to practice their overhead welding technique. Fabricating a new door and a pipe for a barbeque smoker also made it possible for Daniel to prepare for his 1G pipe certification exam.
“It’s a big deal,” said Garcia, referring to Daniel’s 1G pipe certification. “There are people in this industry that can’t pass this certification. He’s actually employable at this very second. He has the most certifications among the students that I have in my program.”
Garcia said once students graduate, they can find well-paying jobs with the certifications they obtain in the program.
Students in the program not only gain valuable work experience before entering the job market, but they also learn an important lesson about giving back.
Daniel is one of 10 welding students helping with fence restoration projects in the Chihuahuita, Chamizal, and Segundo Barrio neighborhoods on behalf of the City of El Paso's Love Your Block beautification program.
For their first project, students fabricated and installed a wrought iron fence and an outdoor bench at the home of an elderly resident in the Chihuahuita neighborhood.
“I think it’s especially hard for elderly people to do something like build a fence,” Daniel said. “It’s nice to help out.”
Daniel played fullback on Americas football team from his freshman to junior year. He decided to concentrate on his health and future during his senior year in high school. Although he's already been offered a welding job after graduation, Daniel plans to serve his country in the U.S. Army instead. Even though he can practice his craft as a trade specialist in the military, he hopes to become an Army ranger. However, he is grateful to the district for the opportunity to become a welder.
"It gives you a sense of security," Daniel said. "Let's say I get a discharge from the Army I always have welding in my back pocket. So, I can always rely on it."
Published March 21, 2023