Texas State Technical College's graduation Monday night featured 550 students receiving their certificates and associates degrees, but only one of them is both female and in the welding program.
"I've had a few struggles, but all of the instructors have helped me through the way," Sadie Watson, TSTC's sole, female welding graduate said. "If it wasn't for them I'm not sure I would have been able to finish."
She credits instructors like Mark Watson for giving her the encouragement she needed to get past her struggles and on to the graduation stage.
"She's spent her two years here wisely," instructor Watson said. "She's locked in a lot of good skills that are going to help her on to opening her own shop and doing her own thing someday."
And that's exactly what Sadie, of Stephenville, wants to do. The 19-year-old hopes to get a welding job right after graduation, but someday she wants her own shop for welded art and fabrications.
Sadie's instructors say she's also a source of encouragement to other women to get into the welding industry. It's something she's clearly passionate about.
"I feel women should be in welding because we have more patience. We are better than men," she said with a laugh.