Audrianna is a 2012 graduate of Tascosa High School and Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning (AACAL). She says she took an automotive class at AACAL, “because I love working with my hands. I like working on cars. I’ve always done it with my dad ever since I was little.”
Despite her affinity for automotive work, Audrianna didn’t want to be a mechanic. Since the age of eight, she thought she wanted to be a large animal vet, until she took biology and realized that wasn’t for her. What she did know, thanks to her time at AACAL, was that she wanted to continue to pursue CTE.
“My dad was watching the news one day, he called me into the room and said, ‘Audi look at this!’ and it’s a women in industry program that was going on at Amarillo College, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that looks like fun,’ because they had welding, machining, electricians, and automotive. So I decided to check it out, take the tour, and I fell in love with the machining program.”
Two years later, Audrianna graduated from that very program and began working full-time as a machinist for Midwest Machine, a company that provides equipment for the area’s meat packing industry, one of the economic drivers of the region. She has now been with the company for three years.
When talking about her work, Audrianna practically glows. She pulls a out a photo-album from her backpack. Every photo carefully arranged in the plastic sleeves is of an intricate metal carving Audrianna has created, of her operating the equipment, or of her laughing with co-workers.
Audrianna’s interview with Raise Your Hand took place around the time the 23-year-old was closing on her first home. She acts like it’s no big deal, but home ownership at her age is certainly one testament to her success.