At risk youth enjoy Mind over Metal camp

At risk youth enjoy Mind over Metal camp

Sometimes all one needs is a spark to inspire change in their lives for the better. For six at-risk youth, the CWA Foundation Mind over Metal welding camp provided that much needed spark.

The week-long camp was hosted by Liberty for Youth, a non-profit, charitable organization that has been successfully helping troubled youth in the Hamilton area and funded by the CWA Foundation which took place from July 6-10, 2015 at the CWB Group’s headquarters in Milton, Ontario.   

“These camps are specifically designed to provide at-risk youth with an introduction into the welding profession and the great career options that are available, while being supervised by professionals in a safe environment,” said Deborah Mates, Director of the CWA Foundation. “The camp was hands-on and fun with the goal the youth leave with great memories and hopefully feel inspired to pursue a career in the welding profession.” 

Welding safety, Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), introduction to weld symbols, and a brief overview of the impact welding has on our daily lives was part of the camp. Once the theoretical part was completed, the students then practiced on the welding simulator and then had fun with real arcs and sparks.  

Frederick Dryden, Founder and Executive Director of Liberty for Youth, was pleased to partner with the CWA Foundation. In addition, his organization received a $10,000 cheque from the CWA Foundation to help out with programming.  

“I’m very happy that several teenagers from Liberty for Youth participated in this camp,” said Frederick Dryden, Founder and Executive Director of Liberty for Youth. “This camp provided them with tangible skills and an opportunity to learn all about the welding profession. This is a great partnership and I look forward to building a longstanding relationship with the CWA Foundation. I’m also grateful that the CWA Foundation provided us with much needed funds to continue our programming.”  

One of those youth who participated in the camp was 17-year-old Imad Taj.  

“I really enjoyed the camp,” he said. “It was a lot of fun building the projects. It was educational and the trainers were great. They made it a lot of fun.” 

Aaron Jones, 25, who studied welding at the post-secondary level, however, had to take a year off because of financial restraints, said his goal is still to pursue welding as a profession and his time at the camp only solidified his passion for arcs and sparks.  

“Welding is a lot of fun. There’s an artistic element to welding that I really enjoy,” he said. “Seeing the finished product when you’re done is a great feeling of accomplishment. This was the first time I’ve ever been to a welding camp and it was very educational. I learned a lot.”  

 Anika Brown, 17, also attended the camp. She said the opportunity will forever have an impact on her because it showed her the value of team work.  

“Working as a team to complete projects was an important part of this camp,” she said. “I also really enjoyed the process of starting a project and then seeing it when it’s finished. It was a lot of fun and welding is a lot of fun.” 

Several Mind over Metal welding camps are going to be hosted throughout the country this year.