For Immediate Release
Contact: Daniel Wackershauser, Marketing Specialist
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date of Release: November 23, 2022
Colorado credits Southwest Tech for bright futureFennimore -
Rob Colorado, a student in the evening welding program at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, has come a long way. He recently turned 40 years old, and if you ask him, he may tell you he is lucky to be here. He is open about his past, however, he would rather focus on his future. “It’s been a journey, from where I came from, there’s definitely been a lot of negative in my life,” he said. “It’s definitely night and day to where I am today.”
Prior to coming to Southwest Tech, Colorado said, “I was alright with what I was doing, just not happy. Along this journey through all the negative I went through in my life I got three major goals in life and one of them was to finish school. The first step was pushing myself to finish my HSED.”
Colorado was born in Platteville, Wisconsin. He has lived in Las Vegas, Nevada and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It’s safe to say he has found a home at Southwest Tech. “This school is awesome,” he said. “They go out of their way to help you succeed. If you’re failing here you’re not applying yourself.”
Looking to earn his HSED, Colorado initially found his way to Southwest Tech. He was then made aware of the Ability to Benefit program, a program that allows students working toward their GED/HSED while enrolled in an eligible Southwest Tech program to receive financial aid.
Colorado was drawn to the welding program. “For me, it was a no brainer,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to learn how to weld.”
“I’ve had certain buddies who said, ‘I’ll teach you,’ and that day never came, so why not do it if it’s offered to you,” added Colorado.
Ed Anderson, welding instructor, explained that Colorado has certainly been a mentor for the other students. In addition to his perfect attendance, he is willing to assist others. “Rob has helped me so much this year,” said Anderson. “I have several students who wouldn’t have made it through math without Rob.”
“He wants to do as good as he can at everything he does,” added Anderson. “You can’t ask for anything more.”
The evening welding program began in January and will finish next month. Throughout his time in the program, Colorado has learned a variety of welding processes and is happy he chose Southwest Tech. “I’m really passionate about this school and everybody here that’s helped me along the way,” he said.
After graduation, Colorado plans to get into the pipefitter/boilermaker trade. “I want to be out moving around,” he said. “I’m confident I can go into a job making good money.”
As a non-traditional student, Colorado wants to remind his peers that it’s never too late. “Don’t be afraid to apply yourself,” he said.
He hasn’t said much to his three children about his educational pursuits up to this point. “I’m going to wait until the end to do. How can I preach to my kids, ‘you got to do good at school…if I have never done it myself?’ I am here doing it now,” he said.
When graduation day comes, Colorado knows all the hard work from throughout the year will have been worth it. He will not only have earned his welding certificate, he will also have earned his HSED at the same time. “I pushed myself so hard to get there,” he said.
“I’m happy that I took this approach and doing something positive in life,” he said. “It’s never too late to do it.”
Anyone interested in the Ability to Benefit program can learn more at www.swtc.edu/atb.
| Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, a finalist for the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, is one of 16 institutions that comprise the Wisconsin Technical College System. Southwest Tech offers more than 60 programs in a wide variety of disciplines. Courses are offered on campus, online, HyFlex and in a blended format. The college provides apprenticeship, certificate, technical diploma, and associate degree programs that respond to district workforce needs and prepare student for family-sustaining jobs and career advancement. |