MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - 19-year-old Kalysta Sormunen literally has bright future ahead of her. Especially now that she officially signed with the Carpenters and Millwrights Local 1510 where she can continue her passion for welding.
"I just I hope to learn more in the mechanics field," said Sormunen. "It’s always interested me, but I didn’t know a lot about it."
It was the Marquette Alger Middle College program that sparked Sormunen's welding interest back when she was only a junior in high school.
"I was really bad at it at first, like really bad and not the best in the class, but I just kept working at it and I think that made it a little more special because I really had to work for this," said Sormunen.
Her determination did not go unnoticed. Throughout the past few years, Sormunen felt the support from the community that lead her Thursday's apprenticeship signing.
"Today was incredibility exciting not only because she’s a phenomenal young woman, but the partnership that had to come together to give her that opportunity," said Brian Sarvello, the Career & Technical Education (CTE) Director. "You saw how many different partners and how many people contributed to her success and that’s what we do best in the U.P."
Middle College is a public, tuition-free, early college program that allows a student to earn a high school diploma and college credits from Northern Michigan University.
Sormunen says she couldn’t be happier that she was a part of it.
"I never really knew what I wanted to do with life, so it was always very scary for me to think about my future," explained Sormunen. "The Middle College helped me find out what I wanted to do and I think it's cool because now I can empower other women."
Sormunen begins her four- to five-year apprenticeship on Thursday, April 4, and is excited to travel around learning more about the mechanical side of welding.