In the final days of Women's Month, Compton College Welding Instructor, Pamela Richardson, is being honored by the American Welding Society as Teacher of the Year.
Pamela Richardson's passion for welding and experiences are the root of her dedication to teaching her students a trade she has found to be very rewarding. "I find that it is most rewarding when some of my students who did not think they could attend and survive college, let alone attain a degree, actually complete these dreams and become employed in high-paying jobs."
In 1992, after being overcharged by a mechanic when her car broke down, Pamela began welding. She became a certified welder in 1994 taking automotive repair classes and working her way up to welding classes while pregnant.
Richardson would go on to earn her bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Phoenix and her master's degree in educational leadership from the National University.
20 years later, she has decades of experience in welding, working on notable projects like the Los Angeles Metro Rail's Red Line and well-known architects like Thoman Mayne.
Before becoming a full-time welding instructor at Compton College, she served as an adjunct instructor of welding at El Camino Compton College Compton Center and Rio Hondo College. Offering advice to women in the field, she said "Stick with it, and don't let the guys discourage you! Make sure you attain a degree so you can expand your trade."
One of her students, having just completed her program said, "She is very good at what she does and always excited to help students out and talk about welding."
The American Welding Society is a globally recognized organization with more than 73,000 members in 22 districts and 250 student chapters.