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Davis Journal

Davis Tech Student of the Year used grit and determination to be successful

May 06, 2022 11:17AM ● By Becky Ginos

Carmen Enriquez is working in the Composite Material Technology program at DTC. She was named the 2022 Davis Tech Student of the Year. Photo courtesy of DTC

KAYSVILLE—When Carmen Enriquez was in high school, she never thought college was in her future. Now as she’s finishing up a Composite Material Technology program at Davis Tech she sees that the possibilities are endless. Enriquez was also named the 2022 Davis Tech Student of the Year and will represent the school through public speaking and outreach events.

“In high school I thought the only way to go to college was you had to be super smart and have the money to pay for it,” said Enriquez. “I was neither.”

Enriquez found out about a technical school in Arizona with an automotive program. “I didn’t have to work with computers or numbers,” she said. “I worked for six years in automotive and learned the ins and outs of parts, working with customers and everything about designing cars.”

After working in the heat of an automotive shop, she decided to move on. “It was 120 degrees,” said Enriquez. “I started to hate working on cars. It was so hot it was unbearable. I found a friend who said ‘come to Job Corps in Utah.’ I thought that was something I could afford so I packed up my Jeep and drove to Utah. I showed up and asked how I could pay for it and they said ‘you don’t have to pay, we’ll give you free training.’”

She enrolled in the Welding Tech program which partners with Davis Tech. “It took me a year and a half to finish because of COVID,” she said. “After I finished I took a job at Northrop Grumman cleaning. I saw how they assembled missiles and weapons and I thought I’d love to get involved in composites. I didn’t know it was a program at DTC.”

Enriquez started in the Composite Material Technology program at DTC and is almost done. “I keep getting opportunities with composites. I can go to school, work and live on my own. I worked with student services at DTC. It’s easy to do with financial aid and I can ride the bus to school.”

As Student of the Year, Enriquez will serve as the student representative on the College Board of Trustees. “They’ve never done that before (have a student on the board),” she said. “I’ll give them a student’s point of view. I’ll get to sit in and be able to find out everything that goes on in education.”

At first, Enriquez said she was hesitant to run for Student of the Year. “On the last day I thought, ‘what the heck’ and applied. I get nervous speaking. My interview was nerve racking but they liked my story and how I was able to keep going and find a way to go to school. I was surprised when they chose me.”

Her duties will also include visiting high schools to talk about the programs at DTC. “I can’t wait to go to the high schools and say ‘hey you can do tech, there’s other ways to go (than college.) I didn’t know about tech schools in high school. It’s way better than just getting a job.”

Enriquez said she’s also interested in becoming a teacher. “Being the Student of the Year I have been able to see so many ways to get into education.”

For now she knows there are lots of options for a career. “I can pick and choose what I want to do,” said Enriquez. “My parents were immigrants and I didn’t have my papers in high school. I want kids to know that no matter where you come from if you have the grit and drive you can get so far.” λ