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Student of Character: Kristin Lapointe

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB) — Walking through the mall, the average teenage girl looks at the clothes, but that’s not always the case with Kristin Lapointe.

“I see like tables or like the racks and  I’ll just look at the welds,” said Lapointe.

When she was just a freshman, Lapointe took a class in the metal fabrication and joining technologies shop at Chicopee Comprehensive High School. She found her calling as a welder.

When we met her, she was working on her senior project, an intricate table she also designed. But don’t think this is all she knows.

She is also a top student in academics. Chicopee comprehensive is a model in that it has both strong technical and academic programs. Lapointe plans to take all of this to college where she’ll study engineering.

Kenneth Widelo oversees all of the technical programs at the high school.

“The one thing with Kristin that I always say is she wants to become a welding engineer and she’ll probably be the only welding engineer that not only will be able to design the bridge but also fabricate it,” said Widelo.

When it comes to welding, Lapointe knows that as a women, she’s in the minority. But it doesn’t matter.

“It’s what I want to do,” said Lapointe. “It’s not gonna stop me just because I’m a girl. To any girls, don’t be afraid of choosing shops. There are no boy trades. Do what you what you want to do. Do what makes you happy. You may like it.”

“In ten years, she’ll be the most successful engineer that I’ve known in my tenure as current technical education director,” said Widelo.

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