Aaron Schroeder heard about the mikeroweWORKS Work Ethic Scholarship from his college advisor at the end of his high school senior year. The advisor said the scholarship was meant for students going into specific trades, and that welding was one of them. When Aaron read about the qualifications for the scholarship he was pleased because, as he put it, “It seemed to describe me.”
A student at Pittsburgh Technical College, Aaron is working towards his Associate’s Degree in welding. He chose this area of study because he fell in love with the idea of welding when his grandfather showed him stick welding at age 16 in the garage at his work. “Something about melding two pieces into one inspired my motivation to continue my education in this field of study and make it my career.”
“What excites me the most is when I put my helmet down, in my own little world with just me and the weld. Everything just fades away and I can focus on the combination of putting two together that will withstand time. That idea to me is just priceless. I am so happy that I have a natural talent for welding, and I can’t wait to further enhance my skills and be the best welder I can be,” Aaron says.
Upon graduation, Aaron plans to seek “a great welding job somewhere down south” where it’s nice and warm, and “I do not have to worry about the freezing cold of winter! That is yet another reason why I chose to be a welder…perhaps the jobs could be something like working on the shore repairing small boats, or if further inland, working in a fabrication shop,” he says.
Aaron signed the mikeroweWORKS Work Ethic Scholarship S.W.E.A.T. pledge (Skill and Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo) as part of the application. He says the Pledge resonates with him because, “I can relate to it 100 percent.” He says he feels strongest about part 12 of the pledge:
I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my butt off.
Aaron says, “I choose, as I always have, to work my butt off and stay after class to hone my skills, my education, until I can get what I am doing right. Because I want to always be the best I can be. The Skill and Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo pledge instills in the readers of the pledge that applicants should be appreciative, passionate, enthusiastic, responsible, a hard worker, cheerful, a believer in equality, someone who appreciates learning, and someone who owns up to their own shortcomings and learns from them.”