29-year-old Genesis Boros earned her welding credential from Blue Ridge Community College in 2021.  

Previously, Genesis was working as an environmental engineer in Venezuela. When she moved to the United States five years ago, her degree credentials for that position were no longer valid. Although she was able to maintain a job at the Staunton, Virginia branch of the same Houston, Texas-based company, Genesis knew she aspired for more. She enjoyed the hands-on problem-solving work of the industrial world.  

Years later, when the COVID-19 quarantine was put into effect, all company projects and contractor travel was put on hold. Genesis was laid off.  

With extra time on her hands and newfound ambitions, she searched online for a welding program and discovered the VA Ready Scholars program through Blue Ridge Community College.  

Genesis started the program in August 2020 and completed her studies in October 2021. She enjoyed the smooth process of signing up for online and in-person classes, allowing her to get skilled and get back to work, and being awarded $1,000 for her credential achievement.  

“I just hope more people can find out about the program and take advantage of it,” says Genesis. 

Genesis is now a certified welder and aspires to work at SpaceX.  

“I have a big ambition about this career, and that’s my goal. I want to continue gaining experience traveling the country and welding throughout the United States.” 

Since graduation, Genesis has been working as a Combo Pipe Welder and Tower Mechanic for the Oil industry — and is making $4,000 a week as a Combo Pipe Welder. Her favorite thing about the profession is the pressure of getting the perfect weld. In a male-dominated industry, she encourages other women to give trades a try.  

“That’s the hardest part is to have the confidence that you can do it. It is really rewarding.” 

Want to become a VA Ready Scholar? Find supported courses and programs to pursue your new path: https://www.vaready.org/learn/programs/