She once had her sights
set on graduating early. Now, a senior in the
Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School (CTE) welding
program has her sights set on shattering stereotypes.
Samantha Petrosino is a first-year student
from the Middleburgh Central School District
welding program at the Mohonasen Center for Advanced Technology
Despite growing up in an education family
her mother, Lori, is the junior high/high school principal at
Middleburgh — Petrosino had a goal of getting out of
school as fast as possible.
"I wanted to graduate early. I didn't like the whole atmosphere,
but then I came here," she said during a break from welding in
the CTE lab.
"I am a hands-on person and I get to come here half a day and
work and enjoy school and then I get to go back to Middleburgh
and learn what I need to," said Petrosino.
Petrosino refuses to be stereotyped.
Besides being one of only a handful of female students in the
entire CTE welding program, she is also a cheerleader.
"It really confuses people. They say, 'you are a welder?' and I
tell them 'yeah, it's fun.' They don't know what to say. It
challenges what people think," she said. "I love it. Women power
all the way."
Petrosino plans to continue to shatter stereotypes and glass
ceilings in an industry that is 94 percent male and largely
consists of men near retirement age, according to the
United States Department of Labor Women's Bureau.
Upon graduation this summer, she plans to go to the
University Polytechnic Institute
in San Diego, California to
pursue a degree and certification in commercial diving/underwater
CTE welding teacher Chris Panny said Petrosino has a bright future.
"She is one of my best students. She is eager to learn and
always prepared," he said.
Petrosino had no knowledge of welding before starting the
program this school year.
"I didn't know what to expect. I knew nothing about it. Now, I
can't want to come here and learn," she said.