Jose' Caldera-Ibarra

Jose' Caldera-IbarraJose' Caldera-Ibarra
Associate of Applied Science, Welding

Jose serves as a great example of someone who, driven by his own passion to learn and motivation to do better, overcame many challenges and obstacles to get an education.

He is now a certified welder. And the doors to a good paying job have opened.

With little formal education, Jose came to college to earn the equivalent of a high school diploma, earning his GED in 2013. But he didn’t stop there. Originally from Mexico, Jose obtained his US citizenship in 2015, and finished his Associate Degree in Welding in June 2016.

“I came to school with zero knowledge, and I became a top welder in my class. My LBCC welding teachers, Dave Ketler and Dean Dowless, are so good and have so much great knowledge. They helped to open doors for me. Thanks to them, I gained skills in precision welding and got a great job. Now, I have a skill that no one can take away from me.”

With no formal high school, Jose read a lot of books to teach himself.

“I’m the first in my family to finish my high school diploma and get a college degree. I didn’t even miss one day of school.”

Once his youngest son was born, Jose looked at his life and decided to make a change.

“I was working on a small farm at the time, and one of my bosses, who was a welder, said to me that I should continue my education and learn to weld. So I took my placement tests, and signed up for the welding program.”

With some key help along the way from faculty and Learning Center staff, Jose was able to finish his degree.

“English was a big obstacle for me. But I just kept asking my instructors to repeat things. They worked with me one-on-one. Learning with a second language, you have to process and reprocess the information to learn it. It can be really challenging. Learning Center staff helped me with my math. The people at LBCC are why I was able to succeed.”