Q&A with Jose, Boys Ranch resident

Jose with his shop projectThe Heart of Texas Fair and Rodeo is almost here and many of our youth are preparing their projects and working with their animals in order to compete in several different categories.

The University of Texas Charter School on the MCH campus offers an agricultural fabrication class and FFA, both taught by Steve Kruse. Youth from the Waco campus and Boys Ranch are able to participate in these classes.

Jose, a youth from the Boys Ranch, is working hard on a barbeque pit he will enter in the competition. We visited with him this week to see how things are going.

Q: How did you become interested in welding?
A: Initially, I was not interested. I was very disruptive in class and had a negative attitude. Mr. Kruse kept encouraging me and I slowly started to realize what I could do. I have enjoyed the hands-on work of creating and building the projects. I have built a big smoker, barbeque pit, feeding trough and a wooden chair for my little brother.

Q: How has this class helped you?
A: I have become more open to the opportunities available to me, not just through this class but by being at the Boys Ranch. I have gained self-confidence. My family has seen a difference in me. I am more of a leader now. Mr. Kruse has pushed me to keep challenging myself and I now can appreciate him not giving up on me. I have hope for my future; maybe I will be a welder by profession some day.

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