Susannah Kimberley first started taking welding classes at St. Clair County Community College as electives.
It didn’t take long for her to become enamored with them, and now it’s paying off in more ways than one.
Kimberley, who is in her second year in the welding and fabricating program, was recently awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the American Welding Society.
“I didn’t realize how much I’d enjoy it,” she said. “I just kept signing up for more and more classes and getting certifications, and it turned into this amazing opportunity that I never would have imagined myself doing, but I love it.”
Kimberley took those original welding classes with her younger brothers, James and Joshua, who were also in the program. She originally came to SC4 from Columbus Township to pursue an associate degree in general education, and while she enjoyed those classes, the hands-on nature of welding won her over.
“Creating things, being challenged and the reward of completing things after putting so much work into it — you find all these incredible opportunities that welding offers you out there,” she said. “There’s not one part of your life that isn’t affected by welding. The chair you’re sitting in has been welded.”
Kimberley is using her welding skills in the small business she founded, called Metal and Petals, in which she uses various metals to create flower decorations. That figures to be part of her future, but she’s also open to whatever opportunities a welding degree from SC4 can create for her.
“As of right now, I would like to learn as much as I can at SC4,” she said. “(Welding instructor Joe McFalda) has been an incredible fountain of information and encouragement, helping with everything you would need to get yourself ready out in the field. I would like to get as many certifications as I can. TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding is what I enjoy most and I would like to pursue that. I don’t know what company I would go to, but I would like to go out in industry somewhere as a TIG welder.”