Welding student Luz Ponce is from Mexico and grew up in Silver City. She joined the Marines straight out of high school. “When my parents immigrated, the United States gave us so much, I wanted to repay that with my service,” she says.
Luz served two years in North Carolina as a helicopter mechanic. “It was a good experience but also very strenuous, more mentally than physically. Everything had to be right or it could fall out the sky,” she says.
Her favorite welding process is MIG because “it’s the only one I’m good at.”
When she finishes her associate degree, she aims to land a traveling welding job. “In the Marine Corps, we were always going from place to place, so I feel like that would be more comfortable for me.”
Luz works on cars in her free time. “Mostly the Japanese imports, they’re so much easier.”