Student Success Story: Edwin Ortiz, Welding Certificate Program
Sometimes the resilient walk among us within the stillness. Calm and confident in their own quiet nature, and without knowing it, there is strength in the silence of those sitting right beside us. Similar to the small window of his welding helmet, on a cold day in November, with a baseball cap and brown cowboy boots, Edwin Ortiz gave me a glimpse into how he sees the world around him.
Edwin came to Connecticut by plane when he was fifteen years old from Guayama, Puerto Rico with a supportive family beside him in hope of better opportunities. In an unfamiliar place with unaccustomed sights, smells, and sounds, Edwin learned the English language by watching Bart and Homer flash across the screen on The Simpsons, and, by observing other hit television shows of the time, like Home Improvement.
Edwin’s favorite colors are black and red, and, with a sticker that reads “Do Work” on his American Flag welding helmet, he has a bright outlook on the importance of having a hard-work ethic. Edwin has a younger brother and sister, and while advancing his career in Goodwin College’s Welding Program, he also works at Advance Auto Parts. Inspired by his uncle Daniel with a keen interest in cars, he grew up watching his uncle fix and build things and became encouraged to one day do the same. From Honda hatchbacks to Lexus lowriders, Edwin enjoys welding and working on lightweight Japanese cars– his favorite being a boxy 1982 Toyota Starlet.
Fusing his interests in transportation and travel, Edwin originally lived in Hartford, attended Bulkeley High School, and beamed about the BBQ in Houston, Texas before hanging his hat in his family home on Silver Lane. With engines roaring from his speakers and a spark in his eye, Edwin was eager to scroll through his phone to show videos and images of the cars he humbly helped his friends to fix. With vehicles on lifts, truck parts placed everywhere, grease spots on the ground, and a goofy makeshift mustache on a car grille, it was inspiring to see Edwin elated in his element.
Growing with Goodwin: Edwin’s Educational Evolution
With a passion for precision, it wasn’t long before Edwin came back to Connecticut that he began focusing on the best welding program for his future. Shopping around for the top welding shops, Edwin ending up picking Goodwin College’s Welding Program for the affordability, communication of the admissions team, and the overall proximity to his family. Edwin appreciated the creative application of the program and worked with scrap metal materials to fix cracked car headers, make artistic-inspired flower pot holders, and even weld machines that would eventually help farmers milk their goats.
Edwin found Goodwin’s Virtual Reality Welding Training Simulators worthwhile to practice his welding work. Developing muscle memory and practicing processes without wasting raw materials, Edwin was also able to evaluate the speed, dexterity, direction, and the angles of his welds. Via vibration and sound activation, the innovative and interactive Virtual Reality Welding Training simulation helmet and stinger tracked Edwin’s performance and progress throughout his practice in Goodwin’s Welding Program.
The reassuring atmosphere of his instructor, Keith Carter, and the hands-on support he receives from fellow students in the program keep Edwin coming back day after day. “You can ask them anything and they’ll help you out” he reassured with ease. A full-time student who takes day classes every Tuesday and Thursday, Edwin will be completing Goodwin’s Welding Program within the allotted 8 month period and he will be graduating in January of 2020.
Goodwin College Welding Students: Soldering with Gold-standards
Similar to life, the hardest part and precision in welding is extending yourself and simply attempting to “go up.” But not only is Edwin Ortiz going up– he’s going places. With his certificate in Welding from Goodwin College, Edwin anticipates one day owning his own performance fabrication shop. When asked what advice he would give to incoming welding students, he said “If you want to make it… put your mind to it… it’s up to you to challenge yourself.”
Edwin is a name meaning “rich friend.” Fitting really, as he is not only wealthy in the welding knowledge gained from Goodwin, but well-off in the reassurance and encouragement that he gives to others also reaching for better.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.