Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical Education (CTE) welding student Nicholas Morrison is the latest recipient of the Evan M. Schwarz Helping Hand Memorial Scholarship.
The $500 award was presented by the Schwarz family, teacher Jesse Novak and CTE administrators during a Dec. 21, 2016 ceremony in the CTE welding classroom.
Morrison, who attends CTE from the South Colonie Central School District, has a very clear mission in life and plan for using the scholarship.
"I'd like to go to Modern Welding or another technical school and see how many more certifications I can earn," Morrison said. "After that, I'd like to get a union job and eventually open my own shop on the side," he said.
Asked why he likes welding, Morrison said "I like to work hard and see what I have accomplished." Morrison said. "To me, there is no better satisfaction than working hard and being able to look back on what you've done."
Speaking about his time at CTE, he said "I like the instructors; they are very helpful. The equipment in the shop is nice and the class size is good," he said.
"The welding program at CTE has helped me a great deal. I didn't know much about welding or how to do it but I have come a very long way over this past year-and-a-half and I am so happy with where I am. I can't wait to take this further and make a career out of this trade."
The award was established in 2011 to honor Evan Schwarz, who studied welding at CTE while a Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School junior and senior, earned straight Aâ€™s and has been described by his former teacher Mike Todd as â€œhighly motivated, artistic and caring â€” just the type of student youâ€™d want to have in your classroom.â€�
Besides learning the formal principles and industry standards of welding, Evan was creative and liked to design and construct attractive and functional pieces. He earned professional certifications in pipe welding, shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), flux-cored arc welding (FCAW)/plate welding, gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) equipment set-up and operation.
After graduation in 2006, Evan worked at the former Super Steel plant in Schenectady and earned membership in the ironworkers union.
The Schwarz family awards the scholarship twice a year at CTE, honoring students who excel in class.
The above photo shows Nicholas Morrison, third from right, alongside his parents, Schwarz family members and CTE welding faculty.