Sometimes when working at home my three-year-old daughter, Ruthie, will come over and ask what I am doing. I told her I was writing an article about a young lady name Kylie. I told Ruthie about her and what program she is in. I explained to her what welding is and how Kylie melts metal together and builds things. My daughter responded with amazement, “Wow, Dad, she must be a superhero!”
You’re right, Ruthie. Yes, yes, she is.
Let me introduce you to Kylie Yazell- one of Grant’s superheroes!
Sometimes in life you think you have things figured out, and then out of the blue, you find your passion in life. In talking with Kylie, she thought she had life figured out, until her first visit to Grant Career Center during Sophomore Days event.
Starting her day, Kylie visited her first program choice, which was Criminal Justice, explaining, “I wanted to be a homicide investigator.” Little did she know that it would be one of her later program visits that made the biggest impression, as she reflects, “My first visit to Metal Fabrication changed everything . . . It was great, actually. I went into welding just to see what it was; I didn’t even know what it was, but when I laid my first bead, the seniors – who were all guys, an all-guys lab - were very excited and they showed Mr. Ayers. They were very proud of it. He told me I should definitely go into welding. So ever since then, I have had a passion for it. I was a natural, he said.”
“I was just astonished with how Grant is. The teachers are very personal in a good way. Three academic teachers, Ms. Foster, Ms. Cadwallader, and Mrs. Cooper have had a huge impact on my life, and I can’t thank them enough. We do a whole bunch of fun stuff at Grant: PBIS, Super Squad, Ambassadors, Drug-Free Clubs of America, and Hope Squad,” Kylie says. She not only thinks these clubs are fun but serves as a member on each of them. Super Squad is the superintendent’s student advisory council, Ambassadors go to our affiliate schools and talk about their experiences to help future students decide if Grant is a great fit for them, and Hope Squad is a new club that focuses on students’ mental health and suicide prevention. Kylie also plans to compete in her program’s career technical student organization (CTSO), SkillsUSA, this year.
I cannot speak to Kylie's welding skills, but after having her as a student for the last two years I can say that she is one of the most loyal and generous people I have ever met, always putting others first. She is a motivated problem-solver, and I have every confidence that she will do well after graduation, both professionally and otherwise! - Ms. Foster, English Teacher
I wanted to talk with Kylie about an obvious topic, which is the fact that she is the only girl in her lab. “Being in a male-dominated field, it’s kinda like I feel more of a feminist vibe. I believe women can do what men can do. I just go in there and do my thing, and the guys don’t bother me at all,” Kylie said. I got the same vibe, that she proves herself in lab with her welds and keeps the guys in check with her spunky personality and witty charm.
Kylie Yazell continues to be a leader in the male dominated senior Metal fabrication program. Anything I have asked of her she has accepted and achieved great results. She has worked hard to get to the position of early placement. She leads the Metal fabrication program as a student council representative, ambassador for Grant , and recently became a Hope Squad member. She will be a leader wherever life's path takes her. Friendly, funny and outgoing best describes this young lady. Oh yes, she can weld! - Doug Ayers, Welding Instructor
You can’t discuss Metal Fabrication at Grant Career Center without talking about our Metal Fabrication instructor, Mr. Doug Ayers. When talking to Kylie about him, she said, “Ahh, Mr. Ayers. He is my favorite. I love him as a teacher so much. He is just a great guy. “Mr. Ayers cares about his students. He can give a tough crack-down on the guys; he has never yelled at me before; he knows that I can do it. I listen unlike some of the guys in the lab. I have asked a lot of questions this year, because I really want to go on early placement. Mr. Ayers always says to me "no matter the race, gender, or disability, if you put your mind to it, you can do it,” Kylie explained.
As we began discussing her future, Kylie had recently returned from a job shadowing experience, saying, “I was really nervous going on my first job shadow as I was going to be working with 40 or 50-year-old men. They were so accepting, and they talked to me like I had known them for five years. They loved me and accepted me on the spot. I took a tour of Hamilton Safe, and then they had me doing hands-on TIG welding in the safe department. I was welding on a safe door. I am really hoping I get to start my career there in early placement at Hamilton Safe.”
After our interview, Mr. Graybill, the placement coordinator at Grant Career Center, stopped by to talk with Kylie. Watch the video below to see the news he had for her.
Kylie, you are impacting your community by putting light where there is darkness through HopeSquad and empowering girls in your community to find and follow their passion through our Ambassador program. Tonight, my daughter went to bed thinking about her superhero, Kylie Yazell, whose superpower is melting metal together and building things like community, social empowerment and changing the world one kid at a time.
Grant Career Center hopes to highlight a wide range of our students as possible. If you would like to nominate a Grant student, past or present, to be showcased in Faces of Grant please submit your referral here.