Student Profile: Kayden and Allison

    • Quesnel
  • March 20, 2023
This student and faculty profile series shares diverse stories of success. Kayden and Allison are part of Quesnel's Trades Awareness Program (TAP). The program, in partnership with School District 28 and UA Piping Industry College of BC (UAPICBC) allows students to earn high school credits while exploring different trades.

What program are you both taking? 

K: We’re both in the Trades Awareness Program (TAP). It’s a partnership between CNC and our school district. It’s really cool because you get to try all kinds of trades like welding, scaffolding, and drywall. It covers a lot. 


Had either of you considered a career in trades before the program? 

A: I’ve always been interested in trades. My brothers and my stepdad both work in the industry, so it’s always kind of been in the family. I got a dirt bike when I was five, so I liked working on that from a pretty young age and just tinkering around with other stuff around the house. 

K: It was a little different for me. I only started taking interest in trades about a year ago. My brother-in-law does welding, and after watching him do it, it sparked my interest. 


You’re both technically still in high school. What has it been like getting a taste of post-secondary education for the first time?  

K: It’s been pretty cool to see how it is here. I really like everything about it. 

A: It was very scary at first…a lot of anxiety, a lot of “what ifs”. But now that I’m in it, I hate high school (laughs). I’d rather be here 24 hours a day. You get to pick a program based on what you actually like to do. It makes school fun! 


Has the Trades Awareness Program been what you expected? 

A: Oh, it’s way better than I expected. I thought it was going to be really hardcore, which is what made me nervous… but it’s a very comfortable environment. The instructors and staff we’ve worked with make sure it’s an inclusive space. You know if you’re stressed about the day or something in the course, someone will always be there to greet you and check in to make sure you’re okay. There’s a lot of friendly faces.  

K: It was kind of what I expected it to be. Like Allison said, I had a lot of anxiety at first, but once you get started it goes away. 


Over the course, you get to learn a new trade every week. Have you had a favourite? 

A: Definitely metal work. I really like getting hands on and being able to bend and work with metal. I love that kind of stuff. 

K: For me, probably pipe fitting. I never thought it would be something I liked, but once I got the hang of everything, I was like, “Oh – this is actually fun!”. 


What’s been the most challenging part of the course? 

K: I really don’t like heights, so being high up for scaffolding was hard. I don’t think that’s in my future (laughs). 

A: I ended up really liking scaffolding, so that’s funny. Honestly for me, the hardest part was dealing with so much dust! I think I sneezed about 17 times today working with drywall. At one point my hair was completely white because it was covered – so yeah, it can get pretty dusty. 


Over the course, was there something that surprised you about yourself? 

K: I didn’t think I’d ever use a chop saw because I was too scared, but then they made me do it. It was kind of cool, because it surprised me – like, “Oh, I guess I can do that!”. I just feel really proud of myself because I was able to accomplish something I didn’t think I could. 


Do you think you’ve grown over the program? 

A: I’ve definitely grown a lot. I was never really social, because I wasn’t comfortable. Now that I’ve come here, it’s allowed me to express myself and be comfortable not only in a new environment, but also as a woman in trades. 


It’s interesting you bring that up, because trades is typically a male-dominated industry. What advice would you give other women considering pursuing a career in trades? 

K: I would tell them to just do it. It’s a great opportunity; you make good money. It sucks that more girls don’t go into trades because they think it’s a boy thing. It’s not. More women should be in trades. 

A: I think I’d tell them their feelings are completely valid. I came in here very scared too. It is a male dominated field, and women are often put in more organizational roles. I’d challenge them to take a course like this because you grow confidence in yourself while getting hands-on with different equipment. You can branch out and have fun while trying something you didn’t know you’d love. Definitely do it.  


Now that you’ve done the Trades Awareness Program, do you think you’ll pursue trades as a career? 

K: I really like college, so I definitely think I would do a trades course or trades school. Probably for millwright and welding.  

A: I definitely want to become a ticketed millwright and ticketed with welding as well. The course has been a really beautiful experience, and I think it’s opened a lot of doors for us. 


Allison and Kayden drywalling

Your voice is important

Would you like for your story to be featured on the CNC site? Get in touch!
Share your story with us

Contact Media Relations