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Calli, Building Trades Student at Northwest Career & Technical Center

Why did you choose to pursue an education in the building trades?
I chose building trades at a young age. My older brother went through a program in New York and we went to an open house and I knew from that day on carpentry was the route to go. I love working hands-on, I love being able to use my imagination to create something helpful for others as well. 

Which classes have been your favorite and why?
I loved taking Algebra and writing workshop, however, my all time favorite class will always be building trades. I love math and it has always come so easy to me. I also love writing, it's a way to just let go and escape. Building trades is so much fun and it is hands-on which is the way I learn best.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
Two other girls and I worked on remodeling a bathroom and I believe that was one of my favorite jobs. It was nice to work on a project with a small group and we really got to know one another. It was fun to reach bumps in the road and work together to get over them. I think the bathroom, when we were done, came out amazing.

What has your experience getting into the trades been like for you?
My experience overall has been pretty good. I would say having a female instructor in the trades who is successful has definitely inspired me to push myself to do my best. I have two other instructors who I’ve worked with to also improve my skills. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. As like many things in life, I’ve had hurdles to jump over. Some people aren’t used to the idea of girls being in the trade yet, but that’s okay because it’s more accepted than it used to be.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I hope to be out in the field building homes. I hope to have found the right company and to be doing what I love.

What advice would you give young women considering entering trade school?
I would say to stay strong and don’t give up. People are going to push you around and test you, but show up and do your best anyway. Remember to bring a good attitude because even if you don’t know what you’re doing, if you have a good attitude and are eager to learn, you’ll go places. Also, step out of your comfort zone to expand your knowledge and skills.

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