Last week, Big Ideas partnered with Girl with Grit, a Texas based nonprofit, to bring a welding course to the girls in the program. The course was taught by our instructor, Briana Huhn, and covered MIG welding basics along with plasma cutting. The girls were able to learn shop safety and fundamentals of MIG welding, and then given the chance to create personalized projects so they could truly feel what it’s like to create something from nothing.
Girl with Grit founder, Blythe, has created her program to provide girls a vast array of experiences, skills, and mentors to help grow careers, hobbies, passions, and life skills in a positive team building environment. Once Briana and Blythe were introduced, they knew bringing a welding class was a great first step for Big Ideas to fit in with her program.
Over the course of the 2-day class, Briana was able to introduce 15 young women to the world of welding and what she calls the “powerful feeling of melting metal.” When asked about her observations, Blythe said, “I saw a mix of emotions that surrounded me as class began – some were excited, some were afraid, some were nervous. As each one put her hands on the welder, I just felt the power and strength in the room grow. These girls took so much more away from this than welding, which in itself is just so necessary to learn for a hands-on person. They all felt powerful, and their little heads were exploding with all they could do with a welder and this new skill. They also really gravitate to the power of the women teaching them and supporting them.”
Together, we are working to bring additional trades classes to both her program and the community of Boerne, Texas. Blythe has some big goals for Big Ideas in her area:
“My view on trades is beyond just a potential career path, I actually believe these are LIFE SKILLS and I do think there is a lack of open access to community trade workshops for both girls and boys. I hope to help facilitate two things in my community with Big Ideas: Giving girls a safe and comfortable environment to get a little taste of various trades, so they can feel a little more comfortable signing up for more thorough co-ed classes. I would also like to help facilitate boys and girls having access to better community trade workshops and classes so they can get a taste of it. A kid might not sign up for a full semester of welding or mechanics at their high school if they don’t know if they like it. However, if we can just provide 3 hours of it, it’ll allow them to diversify their experiences and they might find something they truly like.”